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  • 2013 | Documentary | 52', 97' | Germany

Song from the Forest

As a young man, American Louis Sarno heard a song on the radio that gripped his imagination. He followed the mysterious sounds all the way to the Central African rainforest and found their source with the Bayaka Pygmies, a tribe of hunters and gatherers.
 
He never left.
 
Today, twenty-five years later, Louis Sarno has recorded over 1,000 hours of unique Bayaka music. He is a fully accepted member of the Bayaka society and has a 13 year old son, Samedi. Once, when Samedi was a baby, he became seriously ill and Louis feared for his life. He held his son in his arms through a frightful night and made him a promise: “If you get through this, one day I’ll show you the world I come from.”
 
Now the time has come to fulfill his promise, and Louis travels with Samedi from the African rainforest to another jungle, one of concrete, glass, and asphalt: New York City. Together, they meet Louis’s family and old friends, including his closest friend from college, Jim Jarmusch.
 
Carried by the contrasts between rainforest and urban America, with a fascinating soundtrack and peaceful, loving imagery, their stories are interwoven to form a touching portrait of an extraordinary man, and his son.
 
A modern epic between rainforest and skyscrapers.
Vimeo Trailer
Director
Michael Obert
Production
Tondowski Films and Friends in co-production with Ma.ja.de. Filmproduktion and WDR
Funding
Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg
Distribution
World Sales
Festivals
IDFA 2013 (VPRO IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary), ZagrebDox 2014, South by Southwest (SXSW) FF Austin 2014, Thessaloniki IDF 2014, Cleveland IFF 2014, It’s All True IDF 2014 (opening film), DOXA Vancouver IDF 2014, DOK.fest Munich 2014, DocAviv FF 2014, Planete+ Doc FF Warsaw 2014, Documentary Edge FF 2014, Shanghai IFF 2014, Moscow IFF 2014, Melbourne IFF 2014, Bergen IFF 2014, Zurich IFF 2014, BFI London IFF 2014, Viennale 2014, Minsk IFF 2014, Palm Springs IFF 2015
 
Deutscher Dokumentarfilmpreis 2015

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