Forest Man – William D. McMaster (2013)

Since 1979, Jadav Payeng has been planting hundreds of trees on an Indian river island threatened by erosion. Payeng is truly the embodiment of the protagonist in the famous story “The Man Who Planted Trees” published in 1953 by the French author Jean Giono.

The photographer Jitu Kalita guides us through Payeng’s home the Majuli Island. This is the largest river island in the world located on Brahmaputra River. Floods generated by monsoon season threatens the Majuli Island by rapid soil erosion. Payeng’s work is so successful that many animals including elephants are living in the forest.

There are rare folk heros such as Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman September 26, 1774 – March 18, 1845) or Tarzan of Manisa (Ahmet Bedevi 1889 – 1963) that inspired us for conservation. “Forest Man” won Best Documentary for the American Pavilion Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at the Cannes Film Festival in 2014.

 

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