INTO THE FOREST
Feature Documentary

      The Earth has music for those who listen. — William Shakespeare     

   One of the Planet’s Most Ancient Tribes    

For the African Pygmy tribes of the Republic of Congo, life is intimately and necessarily connected to the rainforest, the Congo Basin. This sacred symbiosis is threatened by the push for modernization, displacing these hunter-gatherers into a society that marginalizes them.
    

Dancers of the Gods

 Sacred Forest 

Evidence has linked the Pygmies’ existence to ancient Egypt, where they were known as the “Akka” and described as “Dancers of the Gods” for their unique talents in the form of polyphonic singing, dancing, and playing musical instruments. These activities are integral to Pygmy culture and bring happiness to their day-to-day lives. 

Photo courtesy of Mathias Monarque, AfriqueProfonde

   The Fourth World   

Since ancient times, the forest has been viewed as a sacred, living entity by the people who thrive here, forming the lifeblood of society. The sustainable way of life practiced by the Pygmies has enabled them to maintain a balanced, harmonious relationship with their natural environment.

Photo courtesy of Mathias Monarque, AfriqueProfonde
“Fourth World” societies are marginalized groups that resist cultural change within their own countries. The welfare and time-honoured traditions of these people are often ignored and unwanted changes are imposed as a result. This destructive dynamic forms the basis of the issues taking place in the Congo Basin today.

 The Congo River Basin​

 As the world’s second-largest tropical rainforest covering up to one-quarter of the total global area, the Congo Basin is a lush oasis of ecosystems and contains an immense diversity of animal and plant life.
    
 
Deforestation as a consequence of logging, mining, and the oil industry poses a great threat not only to the Pygmies but to the global community. Forests play an essential role in the following processes:    
 
·    Regulating the climate    
·    Controlling the flow of water    
·    Protecting and enriching soils    
·    Controlling disease    
·    Safeguarding water quality     

Source: World Wildlife Fund
     
    

 

         Climate Change      

As one of the world's poorest countries producing the least amount of greenhouse gas emissions, Congo is predicted to be among the countries that will be hardest hit by climate change.​