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Netherlands, 1960 (MIFF 1963)

Director: Herman van der Horst

Herman van der Horst is no newcomer to the Melbourne Festival. This, his latest film, was two years in the making and its title, Faja Lobbi, is the name of the glowing red flower which symbolises the Surinamee's love of his native land.

The film has no commentary and depends only on the words and sounds of events as they flow on the screen. A pageant of sights and sounds in Dutch Guiana, it is neither a true documentary or travelogue, nor a scientific film. Rather it is a series of impressions of the life and attitudes of the people of the Surinam. The film penetrates to the heart of the forest, depicting the life patterns of the people and laying bare the forces of their existence - birth, care for the daily necessities, play and dance, love - and their relationship to their gods.

Religious scenes are interspersed with scenes of daily life. The bustle on the streets and the untamed jungle are synthesized into an atmosphere of peaceful parallel existence in this ravishingly beautiful country. Award: Golden Bear, Berlin Film Festival.

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