2008. Italy/Brazil. Marco Bechis. 108 min.
Thursday, April 2, 2009, 6:15 p.m.
The Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center
2008. Italy/Brazil. Directed by Marco Bechis. The opening scene in this ferociously perceptive docudrama expertly sets up the insurmountable schism between Them and Us: the indigenous Guarani Indians playact a tourist-friendly version of themselves for the benefit of eco-tourists brought to the Amazon by wealthy, opportunist Brazilian ranchers. This is one of the countless ways the Indians are humiliated and exploited, so when they are once more displaced, their shaman decides that it's time they re-inhabit their ancestral land, which has been deforested and made into fields for the resident white landowner. As the myths and realities of daily life are brought devastatingly to the fore—and highlighted by striking visual contrasts of vast cultivated fields and lush forests and riverbeds—the two irreconcilable sides engage in metaphorical and actual war fueled by poverty and fear. An IFC Films release. 108 min.