A boat with tourists is sailing up the river through the jungle. Suddenly they come face-to-face with Indians, naked apart from their paint, with self-made weapons at the ready. The tourists sail on excitedly. The Indians put on their jeans and collect their daily wages. The Guarani, one of Brazil's oldest Indian communities, are forced to live in a reservation. A small group of Guarani decide to leave the reservation and settle in a traditional territory that has belonged to white men for several generations. The clash between two conflicting cultures is conceived as a suspense story with mystical elements. The actors are real Indians with no actor training. Written by
Warsaw Film Festival
Intelligent exploration of colonialism in the Amazon
A band of indigenous tribes-people begin to camp out on the fringes of the land of a European descended farmer, whose land was once the tribe's burial ground.
There are places where the film seems to repeat itself, and could probably have been tighter, but the deliberate, hypnotizing pace helps captures the more spiritual life of the natives.
Some of the conflicts are obvious. What's more interesting is the curiosity and attraction each side also holds for the other in counterpoint to the anger and mistrust. Specifically sexually, but also as human beings.
The head of the European farm is a bit of a caricature, but many of the other characters are surprisingly complex for a film of such sparse dialogue and ultimately simple story.
This didn't blow me away emotionally, the way I think it intended to. I could see the political points coming a mile off. But as a document on how the clash of two cultures leaves marks and changes on both, it's pretty impressive.
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