Birdwatchers (2008) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • When a tribe of indigenous Guarani Indians attempts to re-inhabit their ancestral land, which lies on the border of a wealthy landowner's fields, tensions escalate.

  • 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.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • The fazendeiros lead a wealthy and leisurely existence. They own huge fields with transgenic plantations and they spend their nights with tourists who come birdwatching.

    Meanwhile, at the borders of their lands, the uneasiness of the indios, who were the legitimate inhabitants of those lands, is rapidly growing.

    Enclosed in reserves, with no other perspective except that of working as semi-slaves in sugarbeet plantations, many young people commit suicide.

    And it is a suicide which stirs up a rebellion. Led by an indio, Nadio, and by a shaman, a group of Guarani-Kaiowà starts camping outside one of the properties to claim their land back.

    Two opposing worlds facing each other. They engage a metaphorical as well as a real war. But they never stop studying each other. Its the young people mainly who are curious of the other. A curiosity which will create a deep bond between the young shaman apprentice Osvaldo and a fazenderos daughter

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