Milestone Films

Young Man's Dream and a Woman's Secret, A

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Filmmaker Philip Haas traveled to the southernmost tip of Madagascar to meet Efiaimbelo, a man in his mid-sixties who works as a funerary sculptor. The film follows Efiaimbelo as he travels to an isolated area in the countryside to cut down a special tree for sculpting. He makes it into a pole of geometric shapes, which he then tops with a finely honed sculpture of a cow. This beautiful sculpture is funerary piece, designed to ornament a grave. The film features remarkable footage of huge tombs covered with cow antlers and poles like the one we see Efiaimbelo sculpt. The tops of these poles are decorated with all sorts of animals, people and tableaux associated with the dead person. Very little has been known or seen of this funereal and artistic tradition outside the region and the film provides an extraordinarily rich visual experience.

Nera Jambruku is the big man in his village in the East Sepik province of Papua New Guinea. He is the head of a group of men who build and paint the Houses of Spirits in the area. The film shows him and his men as they work day and night inside the house, painting a huge triangular bark, which they then hoist up into place on the front of the sculpture. The painting, which has powerful magical powers and meaning, is made up of a series of abstract faces surrounded by triangular designs and smaller representations of flowers and animals. During the course of the work, Nera explains the role of the painting in the villagers’ lives. As viewers are drawn into the dynamic of the group and the elegance of the painting, they will forget, as it seems the artists did, that the filmmaker is even there.

In Madagascar: Efiaimbelo and Jacques Jean Debord. In New Guinea: Nera Jambruku, Gesan Jambruku, Sakolias Nausak, Klaul Tajimbu, Pilip Nikulak and Paulus Kobulam. A film by Philip Haas. Executive Producer: Fernando Trueba. Produced by Fernando Trueba, P.C. S.A.; Methodact, Ltd.; and the Centre Georges Pompidou. Edited by Belinda Cowdy. Music by David Byrne. Narration by Philip Haas. Cinematography by Juan Molina (Madagascar) and Chris Owen (Papua New Guinea). Sound by Eric Devulder (Madagascar) and Lahui Geita (Papua New Guinea).


Also available in 16mm prints for theatrical and nontheatrical screenings. Contact Milestone for price and availability!

This DVD is also available for Institutional Purchase, which includes public performance rights and a 3-year streaming license. Please click on the “Format” button and select “DVD Institutional Rate.”

 An Explanation of Home, Classroom, and Public Performance Rights

Individuals and non-profit institutions purchasing at the DVD, DVD-R, or Blu-ray rate — or streaming at published rental and sales prices — are authorized to use the film only for private home screening and legitimate classroom showing (a regularly scheduled class with an instructor present), per the United States Copyright Law. You can learn more about the distinction between classroom and public performance screenings here.


US and Canadian nonprofit educational institutions that wish to show a film publicly outside of a scheduled class need to purchase DVDs, DVD-Rs, and Blu-rays at the institutional rate — which grants 3-year in-house streaming rights and an on-site public performance license. This in-house streaming license is for a term of three years from the date of purchase and grants the purchasing institution the right to stream over a single secure server with a password-protected connection. Streaming access must be strictly limited to currently enrolled students, faculty, and staff. Streaming rights extensions can be negotiated with Milestone after the initial three-year term has lapsed. Milestone retains the right to terminate this agreement at any time. No broadcast, Internet or other rights are granted or implied. These rights are for on-site use only per the license agreement. 

Similarly, US and Canadian nonprofit educational institutions that wish to show a film publicly outside of a scheduled class via Milestone’s streaming site must contact Milestone to arrange a separate public performance license. For more information, please email 

US and Canadian nonprofit educational institutions that wish to screen a DVD, DVD-R, or Blu-ray they already own in an open showing must purchase a public performance license. For more information, please email 

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Information for Exhibitors Screening DCPs and Film Prints

All bookings must be made by phone or email correspondence with Amy Heller (201.767.3117 or to negotiate terms and insure a screening copy is available. An order is only finalized when Milestone sends a written confirmation.

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DCPs should be returned to:

Milestone Film & Video
38 George Street
Harrington Park, New Jersey 07640-0128
United States 

35mm and 16mm prints are shipped insured for their cost via Federal Express or UPS and must be returned the same way or by an equivalent method. Please do not ship prints back via US Mail. Exhibitor pays to ship both ways. Shipping and handling charges for outgoing prints appear on your invoice. The immediate return of all prints is your responsibility.

Prints should be returned insured for $1,000 to:

Iron Mountain
Attn: Milestone Account
235 Main Street
Little Falls, NJ 07424

For public screenings, advertising materials can be requested by contacting

Milestone is the exclusive licensor for all the titles in this catalog, all of which are available here in their complete versions.


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