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Sundance 2022 | The Territory Review


By Victoria Hope

In the documentary titled 'The Territory', directed by Alex Sprinx and production by Darren Aronofsky, we follow the lives of several Brazilians who saw their realities change considerably after the last elections and the arrival of Bolsonaro's government. The Uru-eu-wau-wau a brazilian indigenous community are not only co-producers of this project, as well as the main focus of this extremely relevant documentary for that moment in which we're currently living, tackling issues such as the  threatening of their families and culture as soon as they had their first contact with non-indigenous brazilians and squatters. 

Through the invasion of the Amazon rainforest, the invaders have implemented illegal extractions ranging from environmental destruction, criminal fires and the excessive exploitation of minerals from the national soil, all of these attitudes being encouraged by the current president, without concern for the consequences of the devastation of the rainforest, not only for Brazil, but also for the world as a whole with all this inconsequential deforestation.

With full access and co-production by the Uru-eu-wau-wau community itself, the public will witness the struggle of young Brazilian indigenous leaders, such as Bitate and Ari, alongside their mentor, the environmental activist, Neidinha and how they risk their lives daily to protect the Amazon rainforest through their patrols.

The Territory / Picture: Sundance Institute

This very needed documentary, not only points the finger at the wound caused by the arrival of President Jair Bolsonaro, who with his anti-indigenous speeches only encouraged explorers to deforest more and more, but also gives a voice to those who really need to be heard: Indigenous communities and their leaders.

One of the older participants in the documentary even comments that when the (white) men arrived there to carry on with the illegal extractions, they even offered pots and other utilities to the village, as if this gesture was enough for them to deforest the environment. He reinforces that living among these white people has caused many to lose their village's traditions and how caring for that forest has become increasingly difficult, as the community is gradually decimated through the years.  

At the same time, we get a glimpse of the 'other side', as a 49-year-old field worker said during an interview in the the documentary "The Brazilian dream is to have your little piece of land.", since forever, he dedicated himself and his own life to the fields of others, under the hot sun every day , but never had his own land to tend. 

'The Territory' is a true study and a complete class on the ills caused by the devastation of the environment and how an indigenous community had to create its own patrol to monitor their lands, as the authorities left them aside. 

RATE: 10/10