Forest of the Dancing Spirits

De dansande andarnas skog

  • Linda Västrik
  • Sweden, Canada
  • 2013
  • 104 min
  • European Premiere
  • IDFA Competition for First Appearance
Akaya is late into her pregnancy, and she's worried. Her firstborn died in childbirth, and if it happens again people will try to persuade her husband to divorce her. Children are extremely important to the Aka, a tribe of pygmies in the rainforest of the Congo Basin. This documentary focuses on their way of life, rituals, myths and legends, as well as their personal dramas. While the camera captures everyday activities, one of the village elders talks about the origins of the Aka and how the god Komba – not the creator, but the discoverer of the world – brought women and men together. We also learn about relations with the neighboring Ngandu tribe, a Bantu people who control the Aka as serfs. These "owners" make extensive use of the Aka's skill in hunting, fishing and collecting honey from the woods. But if they are not satisfied, there is trouble. As with the threat to their land from a logging company, this is just another fact of life for the Aka. Forest of the Dancing Spirits is a film that remains close to its subject and sketches an honest portrait of a unique society.


  • 104 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Swedish, Akha, Lingala
  • Subtitles in: English
Linda Västrik
Linda Västrik for Linda Vastrik Filmproduction, Mila Aung-Thwin for EyeSteelFilm, Bob Moore for EyeSteelFilm
Executive producer
Linda Västrik for Linda Vastrik Filmproduction, Daniel Cross for EyeSteelFilm
Film i Väst
Linda Västrik

IDFA history

European Premiere
IDFA Competition for First Appearance

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IDFA history

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