1999 | India | Documentary

In the Forest Hangs a Bridge

  • English, Adi English 39 mins
  • Director | Sanjay Kak
  • Writer | Sanjay Kak
  • Producer | Sanjay Kak, Vinay Sheel Oberoi

This film is currently not available.   

The cane and bamboo suspension bridges that span the rivers of the Siang valley are the distinctive mark of the Adi tribe, who live amidst the forested hills of Arunachal Pradesh, in India’s north-east.  In the Siang valley, work in the fields is done by the end of February. The monsoon isn’t due for another month. By tradition, this break in the calendar is the time when Damro village builds it’s bridge over the Yamne river. The material comes from the forest, and the labour is drawn from the four clans in the village. Their only tool is the dao, a blade length of tempered steel, the size of a machete. In three days they finish a bridge that spans a thousand feet.  This is also the time of year when the Adi build homes. Built with bamboo and thatch, these structures need rebuilding every ten years. Since this is also community work, February becomes a month of furious activity - houses, bridges, fences.  “In the forest hangs a bridge” is a film about the building of a thousand foot suspension bridge by the people of an Adi village, an evocation of the tribal community that makes it possible, and a reflection on the strength – and the fragility – of the idea of community.

River Forest Community nature