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.
Director: Michael Obert
Producer: Tondowski Film
Country: Germany 2013
Running Time: 96 minutes
Language: English & Yaka.
Michael Obert is an awardwinning, German author and journalist, who has travelled in the world’s most remote areas. He became known in among the general public for his book’ Regenzauber’ on his seven-month journey from the origin of Niger River to its delta, and he is often compared to writers like Bruce Chatwin and Jon Krakauer. ‘Songs from the forest’ is Obert’s first film.