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Orang Rimba: Happiness Lies in the Forest
A Cockroach Films & Gekko Studio Production for Films4Conservation
...The Orang Rimba are a nomadic forest people, small groups of whom still live in the jungles of Sumatra, Indonesia. Since the advent of President Suharto’s transmigration schemes in the mid-1980s, deforestation in Jambi Province has accelerated massively. Vast oil palm plantations continue to replace natural forest.
The filmmaking process attempted to enable a neutral forum for conversation between the geographically isolated Orang Rimba and the palm oil company executives in charge of running this industry from their offices in Jakarta, the Indonesian capital.
The palm oil companies cleared the forest, thousands of hectares from each group.
There have been no benefits for the Orang Rimba.
Our forest is gone.
It’s already been made into oil palm plantations.
The whole of the Black Water area is our ancestral land.
The Dragonblood Land, the Forbidden Forest, the special land for childbirth…
…It has already been destroyed.
We’re now sitting in a plantation.
When they arrived, they started to clear the forest in order to establish the plantation.
They completely ignored our customary laws and cut down all our culturally significant trees.
The ‘birth trees’ and the ‘life trees’. They cut down the sialang tree [where the honeybees nested], all the Durian and Duku [fruit trees].
When they began clearing the forest in this area, they cut all those trees down.
Every aspect of Orang Rimba life is tied to the forest.
All our culture…how we find our food…all the wealth that we have.
That is why I am happy to be Rimba.
When I see my forest being destroyed it makes me weep.
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