Synopsis: The story of Louis Sarno, an American ethno-musicologist who lived among the Bayaka Pygmies in Central Africa for 25 years.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Lavinia Currier
Production: Dada Films
Rotten Tomatoes:
105 min

[Child shouting

in native language]

[people chattering

in native language]

[speaking in

native language]

[native musical instruments]

[chattering continues]

[Man narrating

in foreign language]

[native musical instruments,

polyphonic vocalizing]

[Man continues]



Larry, if I can hear it,

it's too loud.

[Man resumes]

This music is Beethoven

to me, Ma.




[speaks in native language]

[people respond together]

[speaks in native language]

[people respond together]



[loud, harsh sound]



[sustained ringing in ear]


[Man grunts]




A ringing sound?

It's more like a whine.

That frying?

Frying and then a chopping sound

like an ax on a tree.

Ka, ka.

Tinnitus indeed.

Get dressed.


Doc says my liver's shot.

If I don't get a new one,

I'll die.

...for a replacement.

With luck, we'll--

we'll have one in--

in a month.

You'll have good days

and bad days.

I never have good luck

in New York.

Get undressed

from the waist down, please.

Leprosy is entirely curable.

Don't worry about the ear.

Nothing for it anyway.

It's my instrument.

They used to call me

Big Ear in Africa.

They won't be calling you

anything anymore, Larry.

Your Africa days are over.

For how long?



[frogs croaking]



But if I stay in America,

I'll never complete my catalog.

Only one instrument

left to get--

molimo, the holy grail

of Pygmy music.

I gotta see Lydia.

[horns honking]

[imitates horn blowing]

That's how the Bayaka

describe the sound.

Like a horn.

Like a-- a bull roar.


So interesting.

Lydia, my liver is shot.

I've got one more trip

left in me.

I need the molimo.


And it's not expensive.


Africa, Africa.

You don't have cash?


[Lydia shouts]


Thank you.






[Man singing

in foreign language]


Well, you have to include

the Dogon.

The Dogon?


You really want

to include them?

They're not

endangered peoples.

The Dogon?

Not endangered?


How many of them

can there possibly be?

At least 500,000.

[speaks in native language]

[speaks French]

[speaks in native language]

[speaks French]

[thunder rumbling]

You guys tourists?

[both laugh]

Certainly not.

We despise tourists.

We are travelers.

Here. Have some tea.

Yes. Our goal is to visit

all the endangered peoples

of the world

before they disappear.

We just came

from Papua New Guinea.

Bloody amazing.

The Kirala tribe--

they use the skulls

of their ancestors

as pillows.

Where are you from?

Yamondo, Central Africa.

Yamondo. Yeah.


"Formerly a small

trading village

"of forest Pygmies.

To date,

considerably compromised."


Are you Peace Corps?

[no audible dialogue]


He's not Peace Corps.


It's a perfectly

reasonable que--


Leave me alone.

He's really pissed off now.

Shut up.

[speaking in French]

[speaks in French]



I don't mean to contradict

your guidebook,

but if there's

one place on Earth

that will never, ever change,

it's Yamondo.

I'm sorry?

You see,

the Bayaka are different.

They spend most of their time

living in the forest,

and in the forest,

people leave them alone.

And if they

have been compromised,

it's because

of their Bantu neighbors

who treat them like slaves.


[shouting in native language]


[passengers speaking

in native language]


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    "Oka!" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 22 Sep. 2020. <https://www.scripts.com/script/oka%21_15133>.

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