Sun March 5 — 1:30 pm

1 hr 23 min
Documentary, Environment

Alex Pritz’s documentary about Brazil’s Indigenous Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau people trying to defend their land is essential viewing. The Brazilian rain forest is like the Wild West. That is, the indigenous peoples who have lived in the Amazon for time immemorial find themselves pushed out as farmers, entrepreneurs and the resource extraction industries encroach on the land in pursuit of “the Brazilian dream”, and with the tacit support of the Bolsonaro government. This resonates with the history of Canada. It is also of grave consequence to the future of our planet.

Alex Pritz’s vivid and immersive nonfiction film – which picked up two awards at Sundance – hones in on the fate of the Uru-eu-wau-wau tribe, whose territorial sovereignty is now on the front lines of the battle. Once several thousand strong, the Uru-eu-wau-wau now number just a couple of hundred, and rogue slash-and-burn land-grabbers are bringing deforestation to their doorstep. The tribe fights back via patrols (armed with bows and arrows and drones too), through the courts, and with the support of activists.

Lives, literally, are at stake. More than that, as young tribal leader Bitaté points out, the very future of the planet is affected by the deforestation of the Amazon. The film follows the tech-savvy Bitaté, who uses drones and social media to shore up support for the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau. Fighting alongside him is activist Neidinha, whose campaign to protect the forest and its people places her own family in danger. The picture also gives a voice to Martins, a browbeaten farmer who believes, like so many in Brazil, in his right to claim a piece of land to support his family. A must watch.

Awards: World Cinema Documentary Audience Award and Special Jury Award, Sundance 2022

Alex Pritz

Country of Origin:


Brazilian Portuguese, and Tupi-Kawahiva with English subtitles

Sponsored by:

Preceded by:

Paradise Lost

NFB, 1970,  3min, Canada

Director: Evelyn Lambert

This short animation offers a wordless plea for the right of all living creatures to a clean, unpolluted environment. With rich colour and intricate animated motion, the film features birds, butterflies and other woodland creatures succumbing to air pollution caused by human inventions.