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Oka! [Blu-ray] (2011)

Haviland Morris , Will Yun Lee , Lavinia Currier  |  Unrated |  Blu-ray
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Haviland Morris, Will Yun Lee, Peter Riegert, Kris Marshall, Isaach De Bankolé
  • Directors: Lavinia Currier
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Dolby, NTSC, THX, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Well Go USA
  • DVD Release Date: October 22, 2013
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00DU5ZX5O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #294,887 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews


"Vividly, delightfully palpable...worth the journey" --The New York Times

"A beguiling blend of documentary and fiction" --Film Journal International

"A unique and fascinating tale of cultural connection"

"A beguiling blend of documentary and fiction" --Film Journal International

"A unique and fascinating tale of cultural connection"

Product Description

25 years ago, ethnomusicologist Louis Sarno traveled from New Jersey to the forests of Central Africa to record the music of the Bayaka Pygmies. He fell in love with the people, their music, their lifestyle - and a local girl. Despite his failing health and the harsh realities of life in the village, he follows the Bayaka into the heart of the forest. OKA! is a true story of strength and bravery, uniquely capturing the spirit of a people with music, humor, and love.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OKA! October 25, 2013
Format:Amazon Instant Video
I sincerely don't know how this movie got green-lighted and made -- really, because the story of "Oka!" is not something that would attract mass audiences, especially in the United States. But I'm glad that it was made and I got to watch it. It was truly a delightful and remarkable experience, in a time in which many of the world's cultural treasures are disappearing due to greed, in all its manifestations.

"Oka!" is based on "Last thoughts before vanishing from the face of the Earth," a memoir written by Louis Sarno, who left the comfort of his New Jersey home for Central Africa some 25 years ago. And it is precisely in New Jersey, at his mother's home, that we meet Larry Whitman (Sarno's movie name, played by Kris Marshall), where he is bored to death, haven't sold any CD, and anxious to return to Africa, in order that he can keep recording the music of the Bayaka pygmies - Larry is an ethnomusicologist, an expert of Bayaka pigmy music. Sadly, Larry gets ill before the trip, and is diagnosed with a malfunctional kidney and problems with his hearing. Nevertheless, he's desperate to go back to Africa, because his catalog of the music is incomplete -- he is still missing the Malimo instrument. Once in Africa, Larry meets his pygmy friends and goes to their village, where the habitants really like him. However, certain parts of Africa, like other parts of the so-called uncivilized world, are changing due to "civilized" expansion. In this case, a sawmill is destroying the forests and habitats of some native groups. This destructive movement is being led by Mr.Yi (Will Yun Lee), the manager of the enterprise, and the very corrupt Bassoun (Isaach De Bankolé, the area's mayor. They will do anything to get the wood and for sure have no respect of and discriminate against the pigmies.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "OKA" -- A marvelous revelation January 23, 2014
Just finished watching this truly original and totally engaging film. I can't say enough about its unexpected pleasures and exotic setting. The picture is mostly about the interaction of the American man who is intent on capturing the sounds of the forest in which the Pygmies live, as well as the sounds of its inhabitants whose culture immerses him in a world divorced from his own. Although he speaks their language, there are no subtitles, but none are needed. The communication on all levels does not need to be spelled out...that is what is so natural and spontaneous about the film. It just flows, and we the audience are caught up in the everyday experiences of the Bayana, as well as the amazing way in which they handle the predatory behavior of those who attempt to dominate them. The ending is absolutely superb, in the sense that you are expecting quite a different outcome, making you realize suddenly that these native people are not only skillful in their ability to sustain themselves by adhering to their ancestral wisdom, while alternately retaining their uncanny ability to cope with the encroaching "modern" world. A film that is engrossing and entertaining, as well as a window into the intricacies of human interaction. A little jewel!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT STORY! April 1, 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
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