Sky Above and Mud Beneath

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Sky Above and Mud Beneath
Directed byPierre Dominique Gaisseau
Produced byArthur Cohn
René Lafuite
Written byPierre Dominique Gaisseau
CinematographyJean Bardes-Pages
Gilbert Sarthre
Edited byGeorges Arnstam
Release date
May 1961 (1961-05)
Running time
92 minutes

Sky Above and Mud Beneath (French: Le Ciel et la boue), also released as The Sky Above –The Mud Below,[1] is a 1961 French documentary film. It won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature[2] and was entered into the 1961 Cannes Film Festival.[3]

The film documented a 7-month, thousand-mile Franco-Dutch expedition led by Pierre-Dominique Gaisseau, into uncharted territories of what was then Netherlands New Guinea.[1] The expedition began in the northern region of the Asmat. The group interacted with tribes of cannibals, headhunters and Pygmies; battled leeches, hunger, and exhaustion; and discovered and named the Princess Marijke River, named after Princess Maria Christina (Marijke) of the Netherlands.[4]



  1. ^ a b Daniel Blum, Daniel Blum's Screen World 1963 (Biblo & Tannen Publishers, 1963), 185.
  2. ^ "NY Times: Sky Above and Mud Beneath". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-11-08.
  3. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Sky Above and Mud Beneath". Retrieved 2009-02-20.
  4. ^ Kenneth White Munden, The American Film Institute catalog of motion pictures produced in the United States, Issues 1921-1930 (University of California Press, 1971), 999.

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