ALUNA - The Movie
A Journey to Save the World
ALUNA is made by and with the KOGI, a genuine lost civilization hidden on an isolated triangular pyramid mountain in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia, nearly five miles high, on the Colombian-Caribbean coast. The Kogi say that without thought, nothing could exist. This is a problem, because we are not just plundering the world, we are dumbing it down, destroying both the physical structure and the thought underpinning existence. The Kogi believe that they live in order to care for the world and keep its natural order functioning, but they recognized some years ago that this task was being made impossible by our mining and deforestation. In 1990 they emerged to work with Alan Ereira, making a 90-minute film for BBC1 in which they dramatically warned of our need to change course. Then they withdrew again.
The first film had a stunning global impact, and is now probably the most celebrated film ever made about a tribal people. It was repeated on BBC2 immediately after its first showing, and then in many other countries – some 30 times in the US last year, not bad for a 20-year-old documentary!
It helped shape the Rio Conference, it led to the King of Spain visiting the Kogi and to a complete transformation of the Colombian attitude to these people. Today, each new Colombian President has to visit the mountain and seek their blessing.
But now the Kogi have summoned Alan Ereira back to say that we did not actually listen to what they said. We are incapable of being changed by being spoken to. They now understand that we learn through our eyes, not our ears. In the face of the approaching apocalypse, they have asked Ereira to make a film with them which will take the audience on a perilous journey into the mysteries of their sacred places to change our understanding of reality.
This is not a work of fiction. ARE YOU READY TO BE CHANGED?
The Kogi are profoundly frightened by what we are doing to the world, but also well aware that we have no understanding of the forces which we are unleashing. They believe that the only hope of survival for mankind is if we can learn why they are so scared, and they know that we will only believe what we can see.
The core message of ALUNA is that the Kogi understand – as we do not – that there are critical interconnections within the natural world. It is a subtle and hidden network, and interfering in one part has a major impact on other specific parts. The words of the message are “protect the rivers” but the question is how? The answer is to draw on indigenous understanding of environmental impacts, and the obvious follow-on is to engage indigenous expertise in environmental impact assessments. This involves significant adjustment not only on the part of Western development projects, but also indigenous communities themselves to provide that assistance and guidance on request. Systems need to be established for this, and it may well be the next task of the Trust to assist with this.