An authentic portrait of an Indigenous community’s daily life and struggles
DIRECTED BY ALEX PRITZ
The feature documentary debut of director Alex Pritz (My Dear Kyrgyzstan), The Territory follows the vital, inspiring fight of the Indigenous Uru-eu-wau-wau people of Brazil to defend their land from non-Indigenous farmers intent on colonizing their protected territory in the Amazon rainforest. Co-produced by the Uru-eu-
wau-wau community, the film draws on intimate access to both the Indigenous community and the farmers who want their land, to chronicle a conflict that has profound implications for the survival of a people and the planet. 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. And with its breathtaking cinematography show- casing the titular landscape and richly textured sound design, the film brings audiences deep into the precious ecosystem they are fighting to protect.
The community has faced environmentally destructive and often violent incursions”ALEX PRITZ
Since the Uru-eu-wau-wau were first contacted by the Brazilian government in 1981, their rainforest territory has become an island of green surrounded by farms and ranches – the results of four decades of unchecked deforestation. The commu- nity has faced environmentally destructive and often violent incursions into their sovereign territory by non-natives seeking to exploit the land. With the increasing political polarization threatening many democracies, the situation has grown truly dire as non-native farmers and homesteaders, emboldened by far-right rhetoric, have set their sights on Uru-eu-wau-wau territory. Illegal logging and land clearing incursions have become more frequent and more brazen.
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 indigent farmers organize to stake their claims through official channels, while individual land-grabbers begin clear-cutting swaths of rainforest for themselves.
With the survival of the community at stake, Bitate 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. Sergio is a landless far-right farmer organizing a land grab on protected Indig- enous territory; Bitate and Neidinha – a young Indigenous leader and his mentor – must find new ways to protect the rainforest from the encroaching invaders.
DIRECTOR ALEX PRITZ
PRODUCERS LIZZIE GILLET ● SIGRID DYEKJÆR
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER DARRAN ARONOFSKI
85 MIN. ● 2022 ● URU-EU-WAU-WAU ● PORTUGUESE