Emergence Magazine

The Forest Beyond

by Jeremy Seifert and Fred Bahnson

The Shipibo people of the Peruvian Amazon have lived in relationship with the rainforest for millennia. In recent years, loggers, colonizing settlers, and palm plantations have increasingly devoured these Indigenous lands, pushing the forest farther from villages and homes. In this film, Senen Kaisi, a young Shipibo woman from Santa Isabel de Bahuanisho, makes her first journey to the retreating edge of this ancestral forest, which once stretched all the way to her village.

Director & Cinematographer

Jeremy Seifert is an award-winning documentary filmmaker. His feature films include The Devil We Know, GMO OMG, and DIVE! Living Off America’s Waste. His films for Emergence Magazine include The Church Forests of Ethiopia and On the Road with Thomas Merton.

Director & Producer

Fred Bahnson is the author of Soil and Sacrament, and his essays have appeared in Harper’s, The Sun, Orion, Oxford American, and Best American Spiritual Writing. His essay “On the Road with Thomas Merton,” originally published in Emergence Magazine, was selected by Robert MacFarlane for Best American Travel Writing 2020. He is a recipient of a W.K. Kellogg Food and Society Fellowship, a North Carolina Artist Fellowship, and a Terry Tempest Williams Fellowship for Land and Justice at the Mesa Refuge. He lives with his family in southwestern Montana.


Directed by Jeremy Seifert & Fred Bahnson
Executive Producers Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee, Patrick Leung, & Troy Carter
Produced by Fred Bahnson & Olivia Palma
Cinematography by Jeremy Seifert
Edited by Jeremy Seifert
Music by Matthew Atticus Berger
Sound design and mix by Matthew Mikkelsen

The Church Forests of Ethiopia
Related Feature

The Church Forests of Ethiopia

Essay by Fred Bahnson, Film by Jeremy Seifert Open story

In this film and essay, Jeremy Seifert and Fred Bahnson travel to Ethiopia to gain a deeper understanding of how our fate is tied with the fate of trees.

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