For some, forests are just expansive areas of unused land – but for others, it’s home. Orang Asli, the indigenous people of Peninsular Malaysia, depend on the forest as their source of food, medicine, and other materials. However, some of the fastest deforestation rates in the world threaten their livelihood.
The Curse of Palm Oil, an immersive film by Contrast and 101 East, explores the connection the Orang Asli have to the forests that are cut down to make way for oil palm trees, which produce the most used vegetable oil in the world. In this documentary, the sounds of the rainforest clash with the sounds of the machines involved in deforestation, representing the real-life conflict that unfolds daily between the logging companies and the indigenous people of Malaysia.