Have you ever found yourself thinking of the many “worlds” that exist in our world? Cultures, villages, countries, places that we couldn’t even imagine. One of these incredible cultures in Brazil wants to tell you a story – the over a 1000 year old story of the Yanomami indigenous people.
In a Yanomami tribe isolated in the Amazon Forest, shaman Davi Kopenawa strives to keep alive the spirits of the forest and the tribe traditions while the illegal arrival of goldminers brings death and diseases to the community. The white man, always the white man – the ghost people. The allure of mirrors and of a faraway land. An illusion? The plot is set.
Are you listening? The forest is talking to you. – said the indigenous woman
The phenomenally stylistic documentary-drama The Last Forest by Brazilian award-winning script writer Luiz Bolognesi, co written by shaman Kopenawa himself, is a magical translation of myths and nature. It is a stunning visual cinematic journey.
The Amazon Forest is under siege for the past few years, since far-right anti-environment rise to power of President Jair Bolsonaro. The film is a call to the beauty, importance, and breathtaking imagery of the indigenous cultures of the Amazon Forest.
We all should visit once at least the Amazon Forest. It is stunning, surreal, powerful, and giving. I have been there, exploring the archipelago of Anavilhanas and it was amazing to see pink dolphins, macaws, and trees that could almost touch the sky.
The Yanomami ethnic group are a population of 40 thousand individuals, living in the depths of a once protect forest. The viewer is transported to the poetry of living of the tribe and the stunning landscape of the region. A once in a lifetime glimpse into this remote community.
Davi Kopenawa – the leader of the resistance
I had the honour of meeting iconic indigenous kaiapó leader Raoni Metuktire a few years ago during a conference in London about the struggles the indigenous faced. Specially in respect to the land ownership.
It was incredible to listen to a representative of an ancient and original community from the Amazon forest. Kopenawa is a leading figure now on the call for environmental awareness action.
His book “The Falling Sky: Words of a Yanomami Shaman” is a mystical account of the legends and mysteries of the forest.
How was to tell the story of the Yanomami through cinema?
Good! Everyone will be able to see the beauty of the Yanomami people through the machine [film cameras]. Without the machine our image would not appear [to you]. We have never shown our reality and our forest, which is our home, or our way of living, nor the place of our great chief, Omama, who created us.
Photography by Pedro J Márquez & Marcos Amend
Director: Luiz Bolognesi
Script writing: Davi Kopenawa Yanomami, Luiz Bolognesi
DOP: Pedro J. Márquez
Production: Gullane & Buriti Filmes