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" The world is mud-luscious

and puddle-wonderful "

e.e.cummings

Aluna – A new film by the Kogi

July 10th, 2012

When I was writing Sacred Places, I discovered the extraordinary story of the Kogi through the work of Alan Ereira. Now, twenty years after his work, there comes Aluna. This is what its website says:

ALUNA is a film 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?