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Oka [Blu-ray] [Import]

 Unrated   Blu-ray

List Price: CDN$ 33.47
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Product Details

  • Format: NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Well Go USA
  • Release Date: Oct. 22 2013
  • ASIN: B00DU5ZX5O

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OKA! Oct. 25 2013
By Carlos E. Velasquez - Published on Amazon.com
I sincerely don't know how this movie got green-lighted and made -- really, because the story of "Oka!" is not something that would attract mass audiences, especially in the United States. But I'm glad that it was made and I got to watch it. It was truly a delightful and remarkable experience, in a time in which many of the world's cultural treasures are disappearing due to greed, in all its manifestations.

"Oka!" is based on "Last thoughts before vanishing from the face of the Earth," a memoir written by Louis Sarno, who left the comfort of his New Jersey home for Central Africa some 25 years ago. And it is precisely in New Jersey, at his mother's home, that we meet Larry Whitman (Sarno's movie name, played by Kris Marshall), where he is bored to death, haven't sold any CD, and anxious to return to Africa, in order that he can keep recording the music of the Bayaka pygmies - Larry is an ethnomusicologist, an expert of Bayaka pigmy music. Sadly, Larry gets ill before the trip, and is diagnosed with a malfunctional kidney and problems with his hearing. Nevertheless, he's desperate to go back to Africa, because his catalog of the music is incomplete -- he is still missing the Malimo instrument. Once in Africa, Larry meets his pygmy friends and goes to their village, where the habitants really like him. However, certain parts of Africa, like other parts of the so-called uncivilized world, are changing due to "civilized" expansion. In this case, a sawmill is destroying the forests and habitats of some native groups. This destructive movement is being led by Mr.Yi (Will Yun Lee), the manager of the enterprise, and the very corrupt Bassoun (Isaach De Bankolé, the area's mayor. They will do anything to get the wood and for sure have no respect of and discriminate against the pigmies. To the get this precious land and its timber, Bassoun says, he needs to "prove to the wildlife club that they (the pigmies) are a threat to the elephants," in order that he can say that the sawmill offers "a more stable partnership [with the environment]." Furthermore, Bassoun also informs Mr. Yi that he is in the process of "systemizing the pygmies." So, for Larry and the pygmies, is a race against time.

The film is colorful, with a delicious soundtrack, beautiful scenery, and most importantly, great acting by the pygmies, who will win your heart. They are shown as knowledgeable noble individuals most of the time, but also with faults as all of us. In addition, very few films - if any, that I can remember - show the lives and dedication of ethnomusicologists who are trying to save the music and musical instruments of all cultures in the world. (USA, 2011, color, 105 min)

Reviewed on October 24, 2013 by Eric Gonzalez for Well Go USA Blu-ray
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "OKA" -- A marvelous revelation Jan. 23 2014
By Stephanie Rivera - Published on Amazon.com
Just finished watching this truly original and totally engaging film. I can't say enough about its unexpected pleasures and exotic setting. The picture is mostly about the interaction of the American man who is intent on capturing the sounds of the forest in which the Pygmies live, as well as the sounds of its inhabitants whose culture immerses him in a world divorced from his own. Although he speaks their language, there are no subtitles, but none are needed. The communication on all levels does not need to be spelled out...that is what is so natural and spontaneous about the film. It just flows, and we the audience are caught up in the everyday experiences of the Bayana, as well as the amazing way in which they handle the predatory behavior of those who attempt to dominate them. The ending is absolutely superb, in the sense that you are expecting quite a different outcome, making you realize suddenly that these native people are not only skillful in their ability to sustain themselves by adhering to their ancestral wisdom, while alternately retaining their uncanny ability to cope with the encroaching "modern" world. A film that is engrossing and entertaining, as well as a window into the intricacies of human interaction. A little jewel!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT STORY! April 1 2014
By JON E. CRUZ - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE THIS MOVIE Nov. 19 2014
By Debbie Cardwell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
LOVE THIS MOVIE! I would highly recommend this as an adventure into the bush
of central Africa! The music is unique and the people are fabulous. Please get the CD
that goes with it! This is based on a true story and I recommend it to everyone I know!
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars Sept. 6 2014
By Bob Banner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
it skips so it was quite embarrassing when I showed it with some friends...

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