Aluna: A Wake-Up Call

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Scientists issue repeated warnings about the need to protect the planet, but they are not the only ones with concerns. Through an unusual new documentary film, the Kogi people of Colombia are calling on the world to see the environment through their eyes and understand their fears.

An indigenous civilization hidden in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the Kogi were the subject of a 1990 documentary made by British filmmaker Alan Ereira, which pleaded with the world to save the environment. Twenty years later, the Kogi reached out to Ereira again, wanting to convey their message with new urgency. The new film, Aluna, is available as of this month on DVD and through various online platforms.

“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,” the film’s website explains. “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.” Through the film, the Kogi convey their vision of the natural world as a place in which everything is interconnected and interfering in one part has a major impact on other parts.

The Kogi people live largely in isolation, on an 18,000-foot mountain along Colombia’s Caribbean coast. The mountain’s geographic isolation and unique features make it a virtual “micro-cosmos” that encompasses a wide range of the world’s ecological zones.