Forest of the Dancing Spirits
Linda Västrik 2014

Wednesday Aug 6, 2014

Socrates Sculpture Park
on the grass along the water
Long Island City
32-01 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City, NY 11106
Take the N or Q train to the Broadway stop in Queens and walk eight blocks west on Broadway (toward the East River) to the intersection of Vernon Boulevard.

7:00PMLive Music by Nkumu Isaac Katalay
8:30PMFilm Begins
In the event of rain, show will be rescheduled. Please visit for rain details. Seating is first come, first served. No outside alcohol is permitted.


This Show Presented in Partnership With
Industry City
Socrates Sculpture Park
New Amsterdam

Free Show!

Forest of the Dancing Spirits (Linda Västrik | 104 min.)

Official Link:



(Linda Västrik | 104 min.) With Forest of the Dancing Spirits, filmmaker Linda Västrik provides a glimpse at a culture so ancient that its denizens still inhabit the mythic world. For 75,000 years, these hunter-gatherers known as the Aka have thrived a place they call Ndima (The Forest) – what we call the Congo Basin.

Akaya, granddaughter of the chief, is in her final months of her second pregnancy. She hopes that this time her baby will survive, and with her husband Kengole they will finally be a family. The couple is under great pressure to produce children: though the Aka have a tight-knit and benevolent society, they are not without the tendency to gossip, and in their culture, children are most precious.

The birth of another woman's baby – a child who is welcomed into the world in a bed of leaves on the jungle floor – also heralds the arrival of the dancing spirits from the depths of the forest. First comes Edjengi, a writhing shimmering rhythmic mass of long leaves, one of the oldest spirits on Earth; then Lingoko, as old and as powerful as Edjengi, a fierce presence that provides successful hunts and possess the bodies of the village women.

Västrik immerses herself in the society of the Aka, as a welcome visitor of Ndima (the Congo jungle). In the hum of the forest, the Aka's polyphonic singing interweaves seamlessly with the sounds of birds, insects, trees, winds and of animals beyond our imagination. The film provides an intimate view of an existence where the forest is a place for dance, fellowship, life, wonder, play, love, medicines, magic, food, birth, death, fear, spirits and joy.

-Sarah Feuquay


Linda Västrik, Director, was born in 1972 in Gothenburg, Sweden. Linda Västrik has since her very
beginning of working been focused on documenting reality in a dramatical way. In 91-92 she studied photography at ICP in New York under the influence of Cornell Capa. After this she was assisting photographers as Christer Strömholm, Brian Weil and Larry Clark parallel to her studies at the Academy of photography in Gothenburg/Sweden (Fotohögskolan). Later she studied direction of Documentary film at the Drama Institute in Stockholm(Dramatiska Institutet). She graduated in year 2000. In the same move she released her greatly awarded documentary Pappa och Jag/Dad and Me on Cinema in Sweden. Pappa och Jag/Dad and Me caused a long and serious discussion in Scandinavian and European media and gave her several awards for best film in international competitions. Since then Linda have been working with writing scripts for fiction, producing and directing animation and as Cinematographer for documentaries. Beside the full-length documentary on film, Inkulal, she today have 2 documentaries in financed development. Privately Linda grew up in Vietnam just after the war and she have been working in Africa on various other projects.

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About Rooftop Films

Rooftop Films is a New York based non-profit whose mission is to engage diverse communities by showing independent movies in outdoor locations, producing new films, coordinating youth media education, and renting equipment at low cost to artists.

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