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Film Screening & discussion with Alan Ereira & Matthew Brown & Maria-Teresa Pinto Ocampo

The Heart Of The World – Elder Brother's Warning

The first of two linked events. The second film is at 7.30pm today.

1990 / UK / 90 mins / Digital

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Thu 5 July // 15:00

Tickets: £4 or £6 for both films today

A traditional society, dressed in white, hidden from the modern world, high in the mountains. A tribe of people whose world is formed around a belief system called "Aluna” - something akin to a kind of cosmic consciousness. These people have a powerful message for the world. It seems like a fiction but today's two documentaries describe these people's stories and spread the message they want to tell.

Each feature film is concerned with the Kogi and their messages about the interconnectedness of nature and the impact of human assisted environmental damage. The films also explore the Kogi's landscape, ancient traditions and their planetary healing sciences. We can discuss the films and the issues with Alan Ereira who was involved in both films.

The two films where made in different/contrasting cultural times and economic conditions by the documentary film maker, author and historian Alan Ereira. Alan, for many years was a BBC producer, during this time he came in contact with The Kogi from the Sierra Nevada in northern Colombia, nowadays Alan explores how our modern civilizations understanding of the world diverged from that of our ancestors. His last book was 'The Nine Lives of John Ogilby' and the next is 'Gold: A History'.

Talking with Alan is Matthew Brown and Maria-Teresa Pinto Ocampo from the University of Bristol.

Matthew Brown is Professor in Latin American History, University of Bristol, author of books including The Struggle for Power in Post-Independence Colombia and Venezuela.

Maria-Teresa Pinto Ocampo, Lecturer in the Institute for the Study of Politics at the National University of Colombia in Bogota, an expert on the battles for history during the political conflict in Colombia.

'Heart Of The World' was made for the BBC and shot on film in 1990 and 'Aluna' was made by and with the Kogi with an alternative shareholder funding package and shot digitally.

The Heart of the World – Elder Brother's Warning

The Kogi people (Elder Brother) are direct descendants of the Tayrona people and survived the Spanish Conquistadors – a rare feat. To many they were presumed lost, but they reappeared to bring the people below (Younger Brother) a message about the harmful damage we are causing the world. This is a very special and highly influential documentary whose heartfelt and humane tone still resounds.

The Kogi hope to prolong and protect life on earth. In a desperate attempt to prevent further ecological catastrophe and destruction, in the late 1980's the Kogi allowed a small BBC film crew into their isolated mountaintop civilization. After the documentary was filmed, the Kogi returned to their work in isolation and asked outsiders to not come to their land.

This film, like the Kogi, has a clear message but still retained secrets.

A distorted version of the film is available online but we will be showing a good version and money raised will go to the Tairona Heritage Trust.

This event is with the support of the Addressing Culture and Inequality in Latin America programme at the University of Bristol, FFI matthew.brown@bristol.ac.uk