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In the Land of the
Head Hunters

[In the Land of the War Canoes]
(1915)

 

Renown still photographer Edward S. Curtis’ ground-breaking motion picture documentary-drama, In the Land of the Head Hunters [In the Land of the War Canoes] (1914-1915), focuses on the Kwakiutl Native American tribe of British Columbia’s Vancouver Island.

Motana, a member of the Kwakwaka’wakw tribe, travels on a personal quest to gain the strength and wisdom which will make him as powerful as his father, a great chief.

The film premiered in New York and Seattle in a four-reel version as In the Land of the War Canoes in 1914. The film was later expanded and rereleased in a six-reel version as In the Days of the Head Hunters in 1915.

Selected for the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, the 1915 version of the film has been restored by the UCLA Film and Television Archive in cooperation with Milestone Film and Video, the Field Museum of Natural History, the U’Mista Cultural Center, and professors Aaron Glass and Brad Evans. — Carl Bennett

The Milestone Cinematheque
2015 Blu-ray Disc edition

In the Land of the Head Hunters (1915), color-tinted black & white, 66 minutes, not rated.

Milestone Film and Video, unknown catalog number, unknown UPC number.
Two single-sided, single-layered, Regions ABC Blu-ray Discs, 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in pillarboxed 16:9 (1920 x 1080 pixels) progressive? scan AVCHD MPEG-4 format, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo? sound, English language intertitles, optional English language subtitles, chapter stops; standard BD keepcase?, $39.95.
Release date: 24 February 2015.
Country of origin: USA
This Blu-ray edition features the recent restoration by the UCLA Film and Television Archive.

The two-disc set features the following supplementary material: The 1973 version of In the Land of the War Canoes, as produced by Bill Holm and George Quimby [44 minutes, black & white]; optional English subtitles for the Kwak’wala dialogue on the In the Land of the War Canoes soundtrack; audio commentary featuring Bill Holm, Andy Everson and Aaron Glass; The Image Maker and the Indians (1979), a documentary by Holm and Quimby on the production of the film [16 minutes, color]; Turning Point Ensemble and the Score (2013) [3 minutes, color]; a featurette Documents of Encounter: The Head Hunters Reconstruction Project (2014) [38 minutes, color]; Cultural Presentation by the Gwa’wina Dancers (2008) [83 minutes, color]; a still photograph gallery, courtesy of the University of Washington Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture and Mick Gidley.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region ABC Blu-ray Disc edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region ABC Blu-ray Disc edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
The Milestone Cinematheque
2015 DVD edition

In the Land of the Head Hunters (1915), color-tinted black & white, 66 minutes, not rated.

Milestone Film and Video, unknown catalog number, unknown UPC number.
One single-sided, single-layered, Region 1 NTSC DVD disc, 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in full-frame 4:3 (720 x 480 pixels) interlaced scan MPEG-2 format, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo? sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops; standard DVD keepcase, $29.95.
Release date: 24 February 2015.
Country of origin: USA
This DVD edition features the recent restoration by the UCLA Film and Television Archive.

The two-disc set features the following supplementary material: The 1973 version of In the Land of the War Canoes, as produced by Bill Holm and George Quimby [44 minutes, black & white]; optional English subtitles for the Kwak’wala dialogue on the In the Land of the War Canoes soundtrack; audio commentary featuring Bill Holm, Andy Everson and Aaron Glass; The Image Maker and the Indians (1979), a documentary by Holm and Quimby on the production of the film [16 minutes, color]; Turning Point Ensemble and the Score (2013) [3 minutes, color]; a featurette Documents of Encounter: The Head Hunters Reconstruction Project (2014) [38 minutes, color]; Cultural Presentation by the Gwa’wina Dancers (2008) [83 minutes, color]; a still photograph gallery, courtesy of the University of Washington Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture and Mick Gidley.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
The Milestone Cinematheque
2012 DVD edition

In the Land of the Head Hunters (1915), black & white, 66? minutes, not rated.

Milestone Film and Video, unknown catalog number, unknown UPC number.
One single-sided, single-layered, Region 0 NTSC DVD-R? disc, 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in full-frame 4:3 (720 x 480 pixels) interlaced scan MPEG-2 format, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo? sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops; standard DVD keepcase, unknown suggested retail price.
Release date: 2012
Country of origin: USA
This DVD edition of the UCLA Film and Television Archive restoration version was offered for sale exclusively through the Milestone Film and Video website.
The Milestone Collection
2000 DVD edition

In the Land of the War Canoes (1914), black & white, 43 minutes, not rated.

Milestone Film and Video, distributed by Image Entertainment, ID9361MLSDVD, UPC 0-14381-93612-4.
One single-sided, single-layered, Region 0 NTSC DVD disc, 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in full-frame 4:3 (720 x 480 pixels) interlaced scan MPEG-2 format, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 mono sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops; snapper DVD case, $29.99.
Release date: 15 August 2000.
Country of origin: USA
This edition features the 1973 version of the film as produced by Bill Holm and George Quimby, and is accompanied by a modern recording of Kwakiutl chants and music.

The short DVD program is padded with a brief documentary on Edward S. Curtis, The Image Maker and the Indians (1979) by Bill Holm and George Quimby.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
Other DOCUMENTARY FILMS of the silent era available on home video.
 
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