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Short Man of the Forest
Primatologist Murray Collins goes in search of the Orang Pendek, a new species of bipedal great ape found in the highland jungles of Sumatra.
Director: Hugh Hartford
Producer: Anson Hartford
Completion
February 2008

Murray Collins leaves his city life in search of a bipedal ape. On his journey to highland Sumatra, he meets an academic, three farmers, two conservationists and a shaman, all of whom advise him on his search for the Orang Pendek, the 'small man of the forest'. 

 

The film explores the myths and realities that surround tales of this man-like creature. Collins questions whether his scientific, rationalist approach is appropriate in a culture where the spirits play such a role. 

 

Evidence that the forest could completely shelter the only other bipedal animal until the end of the 20th century could add weight to the argument that through deforestation, we don't know what we are destroying. At its heart, this film is about seeking our closest relative on earth before his habitat is lost forever.

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