(director/writer: Alex Pritz; cinematographers: Alex Prit/Tangae Uru-eu-wau-wau; editor: Carlos Rojas Felice; music: Katya Mihailova; Runtime: 83; MPAA Rating: NR; producers;Will N. Miller, Sigrid Jonsson Dyekjær, Lizzie Gillett, Darren Aronofsky, Gabriel Uchida: Passion Pictures; 2022-Brazil/Denmark/USA in Portuguese and Tupi-Kawahiva with English subtitles)
“Points out the bigger global picture dangers to the world’s environment if the rainforest is destroyed.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A National Geographic acquired film. It’s the feature directorial debut from director Alex Pritz, that is a relevant eco-thriller regarding the Indigenous Uru-eu-wau-wau in the Amazon rainforest. They’re losing their land because of environmental neglect caused by hostile forces (invading farmers, mining companies and land-grabbing settlers) and by climate change. All the Indigenous groups in the Amazon are dwindling in numbers, who have been living in the area for generations (the Uru-eu-wau-wau only number a couple hundred). This is the Uru story, and they need the media to let the world know about their critical situation and the loss of trees going on in the Amazon that is causing its current emergency situation.
The film chronicles the Uru group for a three year period and shows under Brazil’s new Trump-like right-wing president, Bolsonaro, how he’s allowing the Brazilian government not to enforce the strict environmental laws already on the books to protect the rainforest.
The narrative follows these stories.
The feisty environment and human rights activist Neidinha Bandeira, who grew up in the rainforest, has for many years fought for the Uru-eu-wau-wau though not being Indigenous. Gabriel Uchida, the Sao Paolo-born journalist, and photographer connected Pritz with Bandeira. She is charged with telling the story from the POV of the Uru-eu-wau-wau, and emphatically tells how the environmental laws in place are not being enforced.
The narrative unfolds further telling the story of the candid Sergio, a middle-aged farmer, who struggled being a farmer outside the Amazon, and now sees his salvation farming in the Amazon. He’s the leader of the Association of Rio Bonito, who vow to do things legally.
The third story follows an unnamed character, one of the bad guys, who is a lawbreaker homesteader. He and his fellow invaders, all impoverished, feel entitled to the protected land and have no problem with the deforestation of the rainforest.
This important doc points out the bigger global picture dangers to the world’s environment if the rainforest is destroyed by the yahoo practices of the idiot current president and his reckless followers. It also points out the Uru-eu-wau-wau lack the political power to secure their own fate and need the world’s help for their cause to prevail. They also need to be united with all the people living in their area to make sure their righteous cause is not ignored by their enemies and the greedy capitalists who only see money when they exploit the rainforest.
It screened at the Sundance Film Festival.
REVIEWED ON 3/9/2022 GRADE: A