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Uprooted: The Olympic Tribe

A gripping tale of an indigenous tribe's struggle against deforestation, "Uprooted: The Olympic Tribe"

Keywords: Indigenous rights, Environmental activism, Borneo, Logging industry, Olympics, Cultural preservation, Deforestation, Investigation, Tokyo. Three words: 'Heart-wrenching', 'Investigative', 'Revealing'.


"Uprooted: The Olympic Tribe" is a gripping 2021 documentary directed by Balint Revesz and Angus MacInnes. This film presents a powerful and poignant story of a forgotten indigenous tribe in Borneo, whose existence is threatened by a ruthless logging company.


The documentary follows three brave tribesmen who, witnessing the ruthless exploitation of their ancestral forests, decide to trace the path of their stolen wood. Their investigative journey takes them to Tokyo, where they uncover the ties between the deforestation in their homeland and the Olympic Games.

More Film Analysis


"Uprooted: The Olympic Tribe" employs a direct cinema approach, embedding the audience into the lives of the tribesmen. The film's depth of research and exploration of the subject matter is commendable, crafting a narrative that is both engaging and enlightening.

Historical and Factual Context

The film sheds light on the struggle of indigenous tribes in Borneo, a region heavily impacted by deforestation due to the logging industry. It also presents the wider issue of the Olympic Games' environmental footprint, challenging the event's sustainable claims.

Key themes in the film

  • Indigenous rights and cultural preservation
  • Environmental activism
  • The impact of the logging industry
  • The environmental cost of the Olympics

Film Comparisons

"Uprooted: The Olympic Tribe" echoes the investigative nature of documentaries like "The Cove" and "Virunga". However, its focus on the Olympic Games' environmental impact presents a unique perspective.

Noteworthy Moments

The moment when the tribesmen trace their stolen wood to Tokyo, linking their local struggle to a global event, is particularly impactful.


"Uprooted: The Olympic Tribe" featured at Naturvision film festival, indicating a positive audience reception.


"Uprooted: The Olympic Tribe" is a must-watch for those interested in environmental issues, indigenous rights, and the unnoticed impacts of global events like the Olympics.

More film information:


  • Genre: Documentary



  • The brave tribesmen: Key figures who embark on an investigative journey to uncover the truth behind their forest's devastation.



  • Borneo: The tribesmen's homeland and site of the destructive logging.
  • Tokyo: The destination of the investigation, revealing the connection to the Olympics.

Key Questions Raised by the Film:

  • What is the environmental cost of the Olympic Games?
  • How can indigenous rights and cultural preservation be prioritized in the face of economic development?

I wonder what the film would be in another art form

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  1. If this film was a famous book, it would be "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair because of its critique of industrial capitalism and its impact on workers, mirroring the tribe's struggle against the logging industry.
  2. If this film was a famous song, it would be "Big Yellow Taxi" by Joni Mitchell, reflecting the theme of environmental destruction.
  3. If this film was a famous piece of art, it would be "The Scream" by Edvard Munch, symbolizing the tribe's silent cry for help.
  4. If this film was a famous celebrity, it would be Leonardo DiCaprio, known for his environmental activism.
  5. If this film was a color, it would be green, representing both the lush forests of Borneo and the environmental theme of the film.
  6. If this film was a music style, it would be folk music for its storytelling elements and links to cultural preservation.