SONG FROM THE FOREST
by Michael Obert
with Louis Sarno, Samedi Mathurin Bokombe
produced by Alex Tondowski, Ira Tondowski
WINNER IDFA AWARD FOR BEST FEATURE-LENGHT DOCUMENTARY IDFA 2013
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 more than 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’ 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, Louis‘ and Samedi‘s stories are interwoven to form a touching portrait of an extraordinary man and his son. SONG FROM THE FOREST is a modern epic set between rainforest and skyscrapers.
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