Year of Sound: Hollywood in the Amazon

In 1931, an expedition from the Penn Museum introduced a revolutionary new research method in the remote Amazonian jungles of Brazil. Transporting state-of-the-art equipment by sea, air, and river, the team arrived in territory occupied by the Bororo people and recorded an expeditionary film, 'Matto Grosso, the Great Brazilian Wilderness,' incorporating live sound. It was the first time non-Western people were seen and heard on sound-synced film. A collaboration between Academy award-winning cinematographer Floyd Crosby (father of musician David Crosby), wealthy industrialist E. R. Fenimore Johnson (whose father founded Victor Talking Machine Company), big game hunter Sasha Siemel, and Penn Museum anthropologist Vincenzo Petrullo, the groundbreaking film is presented in its entirety. Several artifacts from the Bororo people, collected during the expedition, as well as new translations of the Bororo speakers heard in the film, are part of this special exhibition, developed as part of the University of Pennsylvania's 2013-2014 Year of Sound.

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