Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival
7 AUG 2022 — Film
New Zealand International Film Festival
In Portuguese and Tupi-Kawahiva with English subtitles
Chronicling the struggle of Indigenous people in Brazil to protect their ancestral land, this collaborative documentary was made with the involvement of the Uru-eu-wau-wau community.
“Focusing on what the filmmakers call ‘an island of rainforest surrounded by farms,’ The Territory is a striking first feature for cinematographer Alex Pritz, as well as a notable collaborative work. Its producers include Darren Aronofsky, and its subjects, the Indigenous Uru-eu-wau-wau people of Brazil, helped make the film.
The documentary’s title refers to a 7,000-square-mile region in the Brazilian state of Rondônia, sovereign land of the Uru-eu-wau-wau and other Indigenous groups. With a profound connection to the land, animals and rivers, they’ve lived there for generations, but it wasn’t until 1981 that their first contact with the outside world occurred. They’ve been on the defensive ever since, as agribusiness, farming, logging and ranching interests encroach upon their home. Numbering fewer than 200 and led by a forward-thinking young man, the Uru-eu-wau-wau became partners in Pritz’s filmmaking process, shooting portions of the doc.
Pritz chronicled the group and its struggles against incursions over a three-year period beginning in 2018, the year that Jair Bolsonaro was elected president and local farmers formed an organization with aims of developing land in the protected region.” — Sheri Linden, Hollywood Reporter