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To celebrate the moving image VASA presents works from various paradigms and genres.The series is supported through the actions of the VASA community of volunteers.


Three films by Lenore Rinder, United States

People of the Wild Tiger, Monkey Eden, Kagaraj

My fascination with human/animal conflict over the past ten years has included five filmmaking expeditions to India. As “ground zero” for nature activism; the country inspires me to produce video journals. With each visit, my guide introduces me to an array of people who are grappling with solutions to our species’ myriad of ecological blows against the natural world. We travel deep into forests where only fifty years ago, indigenous villagers lived “cheek to jowl” withtigers and elephants. I gather stories from forest guards, elders, priests, and tribal forest dwellers. The ex-poacher/hunters trust me, and  allow me into their lives when they learn I have a deep interest in sharing stories of their struggle to survive. (of course, the large “baksheesh, or bribe, I pay them is helpful, too.) My newest project, Monkey Eden, features the endless cycle of  these unemployed hunters engaged in the risky business of capturing dangerous, urban monkeys.

still from "People of the Wild Tiger"

Recent experimentation with digital, animated cut-outs to compliment the field footage allows me to express my own personal fears, visions and feelings about serious issues. I  employ this hybrid form of documentary filmmaking, mixed with graphic imagery, to engage audiences to see and think in new ways.

As an artist who values a painterly, personal voice, I desire to create more than purely ethnographic films. Inspired by the dark visions of Surrealists Frida Kahlo and director Guillermo Del Toro, I now create experimental, digital, animated video documentaries, mixed with rare field footage.

all films © Lenore Rinder

People of the Wild Tiger

People of the Wild Tiger - In 2017, A small crew went time-traveling, 4,000 years into the past, to spend a month filming in India. We interviewed people who live with wild tigers: indigenous Mogya and Soliga villagers, priests, elders, and ex-poachers, all concerned about saving their national animal from extinction. We observed honey hunters pluck, fold, and cover their jeans with huge leaves, to transform themselves into “tree-beings” in a verdant landscape. Millions of evicted tribal families are now caught between traditional and modern life styles. A lucky few find work as government forest guards.  
Cinematography by Yinan Wang.

15:00 minutes


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Monkey Eden

Monkey Eden, 2023, is a personal, hybrid documentary/journal, including animated sequences of the artist’s thoughts and feelings. The film explores India’s attempts to manage its human/animal conflicts with much adored, but dangerous monkeys. It focuses on forest encroachment, and tribal hunters at work undertaking the Sisyphean task of urban wildlife removal.




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Kagaraja, 2019, features one-of-a kind footage of ex-poachers creating fake tiger skins and claws to sell on the black market. It’s not easy to film these suspicious entrepreneurs, but my innocent looks and huge baksheesh (bribe) allowed me to record this hidden cottage industry. Vallish explains on camera how Bangalore is the hub of illegal, international animal trade. 
12:45 minutes

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