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Oka! (2011)

 |  Drama  |  14 October 2011 (USA)
5.4
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 123 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 4 user | 9 critic | 9 from Metacritic.com

The story of Louis Sarno, an American ethno-musicologist who lived among the Bayaka Pygmies in Central Africa for 25 years.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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The story of Louis Sarno, an American ethno-musicologist who lived among the Bayaka Pygmies in Central Africa for 25 years.

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A New African Adventure

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Drama

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Release Date:

14 October 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Oka!  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$4,461 (USA) (14 October 2011)

Gross:

$18,364 (USA) (27 January 2012)
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User Reviews

 
Zero stars for animal cruelty
1 June 2014 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

There was no notice of "no animals harmed" by the AHA, RSPCA, WWF or as a courtesy of the filmmakers themselves. And being that this was a pretty low budget effort, I'm sure they didn't use sophisticated cgi or animatronics. Most people don't care about the abuse of animals in film, but in case you are one of the few, be forewarned.

Beyond that, the film is a conflicted mess. I'm not sure whom this film is supposed to appeal to. Tree-huggers like me are attracted by the theme of conservation, trite as it may be (a mega timber corporation wants to chop down the rainforest and displace the pygmies, yeah yeah but I'll still watch). However, the film is terminally muddled by contradictory elements and hypocritical messages.

We're quite obviously supposed to feel sympathetic toward the pygmies and hateful toward the slick-dressed, smooth talking politicians who make deals with evil Chinese whilst they dine on elephant meat (I'm not exaggerating, that's how hard they beat us over the head with the good guys vs. bad guys). But the Pygmies themselves are shown killing animals with their bare hands, shopping at markets for skewered monkeys, killing birds, and... did anyone catch? making musical instruments out of elephant tusks. And this glorious elephant tusk horn is the holy grail of the film. Explain that hypocrisy. Or better yet, don't even waste your time.


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