Skip to main content

The Indigenous Quest

Indonesian customary land grabbed without consent




May 2018



  • Activism
  • Climate Change
  • Fighting Big Corporations
  • Indonesia
  • Land Rights
  • youth

The Indigenous Quest sheds light on the massive forest loss in Kalimantan caused by big multinationals to clear land for palm oil plantations. These forests are known as the lungs of the earth, as they provide the most oxygen while harboring carbon dioxide.

This short documentary tells the story of Mr. Japin, an indigenous farmer from the Silat Hulu community, West Borneo, Indonesia. He is fighting to get his customary forest back that has been seized without prior and informed consent by the palm oil multinational Sinar Mas Group.

Related profiles

  • Profile

    Mr. Japin is an indigenous farmer from the Silat Hulu community, West Kalimantan, Indonesia. He is fighting at the forefront, on behalf...


  • Profile

    Abdel Mandili is a Global Partnership Coordinator for CYFI working on financial inclusion in developing countries and a documentary fil...

  • Profile

    INFIS is home to activists who have a passion for documentary films and has concerned to develop and bring the Indonesian richness of n...

Related films

  • Film
    25:00 mins

    A documentary that explores the connection between the Dayak Kenyah of North Kalimantan and their ancestral lands deep in the heart of the original forests of Borneo. A personal journey as Philius makes his way back to pay respects to his mothers grave. A key message in the film is the connection of the indigenous […]

  • Film
    7:28 mins

    From outsiders to political representatives, the indigenous struggle in the Mentawai islands is a 20 year struggle to be heard. We learn through the eyes of Gugen, a future Indigenous leader, as he meets the villagers, shamens, newspaper & radio stations that unify these threatened islands.

  • Film
    10:20 mins

    Jail is the reward for Momonus and Jamaludin to defend their ancestral lands. For 12 years already these Semunying indigenous territories have been controlled by P.T. In Ledo Lestari. Their dense forest had been turned into a palm oil plantation landscape. Although they have been persecuted and abused in their ancestral land, their fight is […]

    Fighting Big CorporationsHuman Rights AbusesIndonesia
  • Film
    12:33 mins

    In the territory of the Shipibo people of the Peruvian Amazon, the indigenous community of Santa Clara de Uchunya are facing the devastation of their ancestral forests and rivers. This is due to the aggressive expansion of a palm oil plantation operated by Plantaciones de Pucallpa S.A.C., a member of a group of companies controlled […]

    ActivismFighting Big CorporationsPartner film
  • Film
    2:06 mins

    From Friends of the Earth The Ugandan Government along with private investors Wilmar International and BIDCO are developing palm oil plantations on pristine islands in Kalangala, Lake Victoria. The project is promoted as bringing development to the islands, but communities who rely on subsistence agriculture and the local forests for survival say their land and livelihoods […]

    Fighting Big CorporationsPartner filmUganda
  • Film
    7:22 mins

    The indigenous people of Sungai Utik, a Dayak Iban community in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, have maintained a strong traditional connection to their forests despite continuous pressure from logging and palm oil companies intent on taking their land. Their forests remain intact and their traditional values are keeping their community together. If we want to keep […]

    Climate Changeeducational packsIndigenous Solutions