Monday, October 20th
Forest of the Dancing Spirits
Dir. Linda Vastrik
2013, 104 min.
Filmed over 7 years among the Aka, one of Congo's pygmy tribes, Forest of the Dancing Spirits is an intimate and expansive portrait of life in a hunter-gatherer society. The film centers on the relationship of Akaya and Kengole, a young couple struggling to have children and find acceptance in their social group. Filmmaker Linda Vastrik's portrayal of her subjects is deeply human, but decidedly unromantic, and offers a rare window into a way of life that is being threatened by the outside world.
Forest of the Dancing Spirits is Linda Västrik’s first full-length feature documentary. Västrik is focused on documenting reality as drama. In 1991-92 she studied photography at International Center of Photography in New York under the influence of Cornell Capa. After this she assisted photographers like Christer Strömholm, Brian Weil and Larry Clark while at the same time pursuing her studies in photography at the Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts at the University of Gothenburg (Fotohögskolan).
Later she studied the art and craft of directing documentaries at the University College of Film, Radio, Television and Theatre in Stockholm (Dramatiska Institutet). She has since been writing narrative scripts, producing and directing animated films, and working as a documentary cinematographer.