Kalimantan. Indonesia. WatchDoc’s new documentary “Kinipan” is causing a sensation in Indonesia: it tells how two environmentalists investigate the links between rainforest destruction and the pandemic. In times of covid, new laws and economic programs are acutely threatening the rainforest.
It is night in the remote village of Kinipan, but the central square is festively lit. The Indonesian investigative journalist and director Dandhy Laksono has taken the arduous journey once again and is screening his new film “Kinipan”. A gala premiere of a special kind, in the middle of Kalimantan – Indonesian Borneo. At the place that has become a symbol for the resistance of the indigenous Dayak against the destruction of the rainforest.
At the same time, WatchDoc’s film is shown in the village of Pangkalan Ranjau on Sumatra, which is surrounded by palm oil plantations and misguided international forest protection projects. The people in the Jambi province finally feel understood and taken seriously in this film because their lives are at stake, the environmentalist and protagonist of the film Feri Irawan reports.
In the 158-minute documentary “Kinipan,” he and forester Basuki Santoso travel to Indonesia’s last remaining forest areas in times of covid. Their work – forest protection and reforestation – has become more difficult because of the lockdown, but also because of policies that threaten the rainforest and the lives of indigenous and local people.
The two investigate how economic policies, for which resources are exploited and huge areas of land are devoured, the pandemic and deforestation are connected. They uncover the failure of forest protection programs, which are also financed by the German government, and meet bat researchers and tiger experts, as well as wildlife traders. And they talk to desperate people who want to stop the destruction of nature and are getting beaten or even arrested for it.
The situation has deteriorated during the pandemic, as a new package of laws to save Indonesia’s economy, numerous infrastructure projects and large-scale agricultural programs such as food estates are accelerating the destruction of nature. They suspend forest protection provided by law: Indonesia’s Food Estates programs are causing hunger and environmental destruction.
On April 1, 2021, 45 indigenous communities in Indonesia attended the premiere of the film “Kinipan.” Their reactions are overwhelming. People report feeling stirred: “The film strengthens us.” – “The film touched me so much that I could hardly watch.” – “Injustice, greed, corruption.” – “The film is inspiring and we say thank you to WatchDoc!”
Video: Viewers from Kinipan tell about their impressions after watching the premiere of the film “Kinipan”.
Residents of hundreds of villages will be able to see “Kinipan” in the coming days. The film is the third international WatchDoc production and is already attracting more attention than the previous documentary “Asimetris”.
Video: Kinipan (Full Movie):