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Cry of the Forest
27 min/Hindi with English subtitles/2001

For a distanced observer, conservation is all about saving trees and animals and that we should have our greens intact for a world with clean air and water. This film tries to look into a more holistic meaning of conservation where people also are a part of the forest and animals . Our line of argument is that people staying inside and around the forests (National Park and Sanctuaries) should not pay the cost of conservation. They be made a part of this instead and be reintegrated into what was theirs. The film begs a relook into the conservation policies being presently followed. It does not didactically push one line - it opens a debate and fills in the people’s side of the story.

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The film is located in Kanha in Madhya Pradesh. Kanha because it’s probably the most famous Tiger park in the world and secondly it is also from where the first of the adivasis were relocated in the early ‘70s.

Kanha is always presented as one of the best case study of people relocation for conservation. We would like to map the real story of Kanha.

The film meets Sardar, a Baiga who is a vast source of knowledge on medicinal plants but today laments the loss of control. We spend a night in the middle of a paddy field and get a first hand look into wild animals depredating crops - laying waste a whole year’s hard work. We meet Sona Bai, now 60, who recounts how she was thrown out of her village Aurai, inside the Kanha park in the monsoon of ’72…….how she had to sell everything to settle her family again. Finally the film

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looks at a village which is still inside the National Park – Jami and closely watches it sustainably ‘use’ the forest

Partners :PSBT
Director : Krishnendu Bose
Camera :Devlin Bose and Krishnendu Bose