The Voice of Long Bentuq tells the story of a fight of the indigenous community of Dayak Modang Long Wai, Long Bentuq against plantation corporations that trespassed into their territory.
Since 2008 their ancestral land has been encroached by corporations turning it into palm oil plantations. The community have been banned from accessing their land, after trying many attempts following due process and getting no where the community took to peaceful protest and blocked the company’s access. Now they are suing the company.
“…they steal our rights, without our respect, without our consent…” Monica Mensea
This film is made by indigenous Dayak filmmakers Ding Hibau and Noveni Usun.
Statement from Co-Director, Noveni Usun
Before corporations came to damage and destroy the forest, snatch the land and polluting the river, the indigenous community of Dayak Modang Long Wai was the first to be there. They were spread into three sub-districts, first in Busang, Long Bentuq village, second in Long Mesangat at Melan village, third in Muara Ancalong at Long Nah and Long Tesak where they live in peace with the nature and the other community.
But that peace doesn’t last that long, in the name of investment and by holding a permit from the government is the being used as the reason to expel and destroying the Dayak Modang Long Wai community land. 13 years and still counting but yet the community’s struggle hasn’t come to an end, even though they have always loudly made clear they don’t want company in their land. Neither the company nor the government even tried to listen to that voice. They were desperate for a help to save their remaining forest which is not even that much anymore, but the forest is their only hope for their life sustainability. They have declared that they will do anything and everything even if it takes their last drop of blood they will fight to save their forest that belongs to them.
This film “The Voice of Long Bentuq” a short documentary by Ding Hibau & Noveni Usun, is a summary for a situation that is still on going in Long Bentuq village. Soon a longer version with more details and evidence of what happened will be released, and our aim is to make sure the indigenous community of Dayak Modang Long Wai, Long Bentuq voice to be heard and we’d hope that soon enough they can get what they deserves … to get their ancestral land back, and their customary land rights to be recognized.