Directed by: Alex Pritz | 83 min. | Brazil/Denmark/United States | 2022 | Documentary
Languages: Brazilian Portuguese, Tupi-Kawahiva (English subtitles)
Produced by: Darren Aronofsky, Will N. Miller, Sigrid Dyekjær, Lizzie Gillett and Gabriel Uchida
THE TERRITORY provides an immersive look at the tireless fight of the Indigenous Uru-eu-wau-wau people against the encroaching deforestation brought by farmers and illegal settlers in the Brazilian Amazon. With awe-inspiring cinematography showcasing the titular landscape and richly textured sound design, the film takes audiences deep into the Uru-eu-wau-wau community and provides unprecedented access to the farmers and settlers illegally burning and clearing the protected Indigenous land.
Partially shot by the Uru-eu-wau-wau people, the film relies on vérité footage captured over three years as the community risks their lives to set up their own news media team in the hopes of exposing the truth.
Partially shot by the Uru-eu-wau-wau people and filmed over the course of several years, THE TERRITORY offers an authentic portrait of an Indigenous community’s daily life and struggles. With its breathtaking cinematography showcasing the dramatic landscape and richly textured sound design, the film brings audiences deep into the precious ecosystem they are fighting to protect.
Since the Uru-eu-wau-wau were first contacted by the Brazilian government in 1981, their territory has become an island of green rainforest surrounded by denuded farms and ranches — the results of four decades of unchecked deforestation. The community has faced environmentally destructive and often violent incursions into their sovereign territory by nonnatives seeking to exploit the land. Illegal logging and land clearing incursions have become more frequent and more brazen over the years.
Inside Uru-eu-wau-wau territory, there are fewer than 200 people, including elders and children, to defend nearly 7,000 square miles of rainforest. On the edges of the protected lands, a network of farmers organizes to stake their claims through official channels, while individual land-grabbers begin clear-cutting swaths of rainforest for themselves. With the community’s survival at stake, Bitaté Uru-eu-wau-wau and Neidinha Bandeira — a young Indigenous leader and his female mentor — must find new ways to protect the rainforest from encroaching invaders. But rather than rely on others to tell their story, the Uru-eu-wau-wau take control of the narrative and create their own news media team to bring the world the truth.