Michael Oppitz was born in 1942 at the Polish-Czech border. He was raised in Geneva/Switzerland and Cologne. He studied Sinology and Anthropology at the universities of Bonn and Berkeley/Canada before he began his studies in Ethnology and Sociology at the University of Cologne. After field work in Nepal and two books, he was awarded the PhD in 1974. Michael Oppitz is known for his ethnographic films. From 1992 until 2008 he was professor at the University of Zurich/Switzerland and director of the Ethnographic Museum Zurich.