Movies featuring the Indigenous Peoples of

Brava Gente Brasileira Caramuru Hans Staden
Medicine Man Amazon Forever

Brava gente brasileira; Como era gostoso o meu frances; Hans Staden; Medicine Man; Amazon Forever

= Lame, Crummy.     = OK, Watchable.     = Good.     = Very Good.     = Great, Classic.

Amazon Forever

Director/writer/ cinematographer:Jean-Pierre Dutilleux
Music:Stewart Copeland
Year/length:2004. 91 minutes.
Setting:a Xingu River settlement
Language:French, Portuguese, English, Tupi
Indian Content:high
Home Release:DVD (Europe)
Rating: lousy ok good very good

Nicolas, a young French filmmaker goes to the Toa Toari reserve in the Xingu River valley to film the Kuarup ceremony. Nicolas falls in love with Chief Ayupu's daughter. He adapts to Xingu customs and is recruited to the cause of fighting the Portuguese loggers who are destroying the forest. He films the loggers' destructive ways, and films the Xingu defending their land, and finally goes to Rio de Janeiro and abroad to raise awareness of the plight of the rainforest. Indigenous actors, authentic dress and practices, beautiful scenery and a worthy cause all contribute to this gripping story. Writer-director Jean-Pierre Dutilleux has also filmed many documentaries on indigenous peoples. Check out his website at

At Play in the Fields of the Lord

Director:Hector Babenco
Writer:Jean-Claude Carrière
Cinematography:Lauro Escorel
Music:Zbigniew Preisner
Year/length:1992. 186 minutes. Rated R.
Setting:Brazilian rainforest
Language:English and a fictional indigenous language
Indian Content:medium
Home Release:VHS; region 2 DVD in Spanish
Rating: lousy ok good

An American pilot flying over Brazil runs out of fuel and lands at an outpost in the rain forest. The local authority persuades him to drop bombs on the troublesome Niaruna Indians (a fictional tribe) in exchange for gasoline. When he sees the Niaruna below, he becomes sympathetic and decides to join them instead, since he is part Sioux. They welcome him as Kisu, the thunder spirit. Meanwhile, Catholic and Protestant missionaries seek out the Niaruna for conversion. Missionary zeal, capitalism, hatred and a fraudulent Sioux all mix explosively to wreak havoc on the Niaruna. It's a complex story marred by cliche characters. Peter Mattheissen's 1965 novel places the story in the Madre de Dios region of Peru, but the the film version is set in Brazil.

Brava Gente Brasileira

(Brave New Land)
Director/writer:Lúcia Murat
Cinematography:Antônio Luis Mendes
Music:Livio Trachtenberg
Year/length:2001. 103 minutes.
Setting:Mato Grosso do Sul near Rio Paraguai, 1778
Language:Portuguese, Guaicuru
Indian Content:high
Home Release:DVD
Rating: lousy ok good very good excellent

In the Portuguese outpost of Fort Coimbra in 1778, a peace treaty tenuously holds Europeans and Guaicurus in check. Some Europeans respect the treaty, while others are abusive and exploitive. When some soldiers attack and rape a group of Guaicuru women bathing in the river, one young warrior (played by the handsome Alvanir Matchua) seeks revenge. We see a dramatic mourning ritual and his patient determination to kill the Portuguese who killed his girlfriend. The Portuguese have captured another girl, Anote, and a blond-haired boy whom they believe was kidnapped (but an unspoken possibility is that he is the son of an Indian and European, possibly even the son of the white missionary living among the Guaicuru). This film features beautiful cinematography, and some fascinating aspects of Guaicuru culture, including their elaborate tattoos, their practice of infanticide limiting children to one per person (mentioned in The Mission as well), and the cudinhos, men who dress as and act like women. Brava Gente Brasileira won two awards at the Brazilia Festival of Brazilian Cinema, for Best Actress (Luciana Rigueira) and Best Music. Director Lucia Murat has a gift for conveying depths of character concisely through images--a smile, a turned head, a boy pounding a crucifix-- making this a quiet, subtle film despite its epic dimensions. The title literally means "Brave Brazilian People," and seems to suggest that the origins of Brazil's mestizo race are being composed right before our eyes.
Official site:

NOTE: The Guaicuru are played by Kadiwéu, descendents of the Guaicuru, who now live on a reservation and number only about a thousand. After working with the Kadiwéu, director Lucia Murat decided to make a documentary about them, titled A nação que não esperou por Deus (The Nation that Didn't Wait for God):

Resumo em português:
Pantanal, 1778. Um grupo de soldados acompanha Diogo), cartógrafo recém-chegado, enviado pela Coroa Portuguesa para fazer um levantamento topográfico da região. O grupo se encaminha para o Forte Coimbra, que vive em guerra com os índios cavaleiros, com os quais os portugueses tentam selar um acordo de paz. No caminho do forte, um batedor descobre um grupo de mulheres índias tomando banho perto do rio. Elas são estupradas pelos soldados e também por Diogo, forçado por Pedro, chefe do grupo, a participar do ato. Chegando ao Forte, Diogo passa então a encarar um novo mundo, com a crescente ferocidade de Pedro, a fantasia de Antônio em encontrar minas de prata que lhe deixariam rico e a proximidade junto aos índios da região.

The Burning Season

The Chico Mendes Story
Director:John Frankenheimer
Writer:William Mastrosimone
Cinematography:John R. Leonetti
Music:Gary Chang
Year/length:1994. 123 minutes. Rated R.
Setting:rainforest and U.S.A., 1970s-80s
Indian Content:low
Home Release:VHS
Rating: lousy ok

A made-for-TV bio-pic about Chico Mendes, activist and union leader of the rubbertree cultivators who fought against the wealthy ranchers who devastate the rainforest in order to raise cattle. The Burning Season is a run-of-the-mill biopic, and there is very little focus on the rainforest natives who are most affected by deforestation. But the film is worth watching as an introduction to Chico Mendes' life and the complicated issue of Amazon rainforest politics. It won numerous awards, perhaps more in homage to Chico Mendes than for its cinematic merits. Based on the 1990 book, The Burning Season: The Murder of Chico Mendes and the Fight for the Amazon Rain Forest, by environmental journalist Andrew Revkin. Sadly, the assassination of environmental protectors in Latin America and other third-world regions has only gotten worse in the decades since Mendes' murder.

(Caramuru: The Invention of Brazil)
Director:Guel Arraes
Writer:Guel Arraes, Jorge Furtado
Cinematography:Félix Monti
Year/length:2001. 85 minutes.
Setting:Portugal; Amazon.
Indian Content:medium
Home Release:DVD (all region)
Rating: lousy ok

Diogo Álvares, a dim-witted Portuguese artist, is tricked into stealing a map of hidden treasure in the jungles of the New World. He is then exiled to same. His boat sinks but he reaches Brazil, and, encountering Indians, manages to convince them he is a god Caramuru. He marries Paraguaçu, daughter of the chief Itaparica, but finds that the arrangement includes a free three-way with Paraguaçu's sister Moema. It all seems too good to be true until Diogo finds out that the Indians plan to eat him. Caramuru is a parody of Como era gostoso o meu frances (see below).

Resumo em português:
Em 1º de janeiro de 1500 um novo mundo é descoberto pelos europeus, graças a grandes avanços técnicos na arte náutica e na elaboração de mapas. É neste contexto que vive em Portugual o jovem Diogo, pintor que é contratado para ilustrar um mapa e, por ser enganado pela sedutora Isabelle, acaba sendo punido com a deportação na caravela comandada por Vasco de Athayde. Mas a caravela onde Diogo está acaba naufragando ele, por milagre, consegue chegar ao litoral brasileiro. Lá ele conhece a bela índia Paraguaçu com quem logo inicia um romance temperado posteriormente pela inclusão de uma terceira pessoa: a índia Moema, irmã de Paraguaçu. Caramuru é uma adaptação para o cinema da minissérie A Invenção do Brasil, de 2:40 hs.

Chuva e cantoria na aldeia dos mortos

The Dead and Others
Director:Renée Nader Messora
João Salaviza
Writer:Renée Nader Messora
João Salaviza
Cinematography:Renee Nader Messora
Length:116 minutes
Setting:Pedra Branca; Itacajá, Tocantins
Language:Krahô, some Portuguese
Indian Content:very high
Rating: very good

Ihjãc (played by Henrique Ihjãc Krahô) is a 15-year-old member of the Krahô community with a wife (Raene Kôtô Krahô) and baby. One night, after dreaming of his recently deceased father, he travels to the waterfall and hears his father's voice telling him to give his funeral feast so that he can pass on to the village of the dead (the aldeia dos mortos of the title). But Ihjãc does not want to tell anyone that he has heard his father's voice, because they will want him to become a shaman, so he puts off the funeral. Yet he continues to hear the calling of a Mecarõ, or spirit, and to escape, he leaves the aldeia of Pedra Branca and travels to the nearby town of Itacajá to see doctors for some minor ailments. The doctor finds nothing wrong with Ihjãc, but the boy stays in town, not wanting to go back, hoping the Mecarõ will forget about him.

This is a unique film that shows an Amazon community as it really is, littered with the detritus of western culture--nail polish, nylon shorts, etc.--and inextricably linked to it, with an Indian Support House in town in references to Funai. Some viewers may find the story too slow-moving, but I found it fascinating for its realism and fresh viewpoint of an indigenous person resisting the expectations of his community.

The title literally means, "Rain and singing in the village of the dead".


Resumo em português:
Ihjãc é um jovem do povo Krahô, aldeia indígena localizada em Pedra Branca, no interior do Brasil. Depois de ser surpreendido pela visita do espírito de seu falecido pai, ele se sente na obrigação de organizar uma festa de fim de luto, comemoração tradicional da comunidade.

Como gostoso era o meu frances

(How Tasty Was My Little Frenchman)

Director:Nelson Pereira dos Santos
Writers:Humberto Mauro, Nelson Pereira dos Santos
Cinematography:Dib Lutfi
Music:Guilherme Magalhães Vaz, José Rodrix
Year/length:1971. 80 minutes.
Setting:Tupi settlement, 1557.
Language:Tupi, French
Indian Content:high
Home Release:DVD
Rating: lousy ok good very good

In 1557, a Frenchman is captured by the Tupinamba Indians in the rainforest. The Tupinamba are friends with the French, but enemies of the Portuguese, and they believe that this Frenchman is Portuguese because he has not brought them gifts like the other French they've known. So they decide to eat him and spend eight months feeding him. During this time, the Frenchman collects wood for the Tupinamba and is generally treated well. He is even given a girlfriend, Seboipepe (played by Ana Maria Magalhães). When another Frenchman comes to trade with the Indians, he refuses to verify that the captive is French and denounces him as Portuguese. For some reason How Tasty Was My Little Frenchman is sometimes called a comedy, though it didn't seem funny to me. Perhaps it could be seen as a satire on the arbitrariness of nationalism. The film features candid male and female nudity from beginning to end. The film was remade in the 90s with the title Hans Staden. Director dos Santos, perhaps most famous for Vidas Secas [Barren Lives], is considered one of Brazil's greatest directors.


(The Discovery of Brazil)

Director:Humberto Mauro
Writers:Humberto Mauro, Affonso de Taunay, Bandeira Duarte
Cinematography:Alberto Botelho, Alberto Campiglia, Humberto Mauro, Manoel Ribeiro
Music:Heitor Villa-Lobos
Year/length:1937. 62 or 83 minutes.
Setting:east coast of Brazil, 1500
Indian Content:low
Home Release:none
Rating: lousy ok good

In 1500 Portuguese explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral (1467?-1520), with 13 ships and 1500 men, are blown off course while attempting to circle Africa and end up in the New World. They drop ancor in a bay later called Porto Seguro (in the state of Bahia) and exchange gifts with the Indians. They invite two Indians on board, introduce them to the crew, and give them food and wine. The two Indians suddenly lie down on the deck and go to sleep, and the priest brings blankets and pillows and tucks them in. The fleet then sails on to an island they call A Ilha da Vera Cruz (later renamed Terra da Vera Cruz when it was found to be a peninsula). Once again the Portuguese befriend the Indians, then commence to chop down trees to make a great cross. When the cross is constructed and raised, they hold a mass, bless the Indians, and take turns doing European and Indigenous dances. The Indians are not played by indigenous actors, though they do speak Tupi (untranslated), which director Humberto Mauro took the trouble to learn. O descobrimento do Brasil shows vestiges of the silent era, with printed narration, minimal dialogue, and theatrical acting. These anachronisms give the film an archaic feel, and, combined with Heitor Villa-Lobos' score, cast an epic grandeur upon the otherwise thin plot. Although the film claims to be historically accurate, the meeting of Europeans and Native Americans is so placid that it borders on propaganda. Critics at the time suggested that Mauro was endorsing the reforms of Getúlio Vargas, who came to power in 1930 and sought to recognize Indian rights and improve their living conditions. After a cold critical reception in early 1938, Descobrimento never played again and was forgotten for many years. It was originally an 83-minute film, but the current version, restored in 1997, is only 62 minutes.

Emerald Forest

Director:John Boorman
Writer:Rospo Pallenberg
Cinematography:Philippe Rousselot
Music:Junior Homrich, Brian Gascoigne
Year/length:1985. 110 minutes. Rated R.
Setting:Brazilian rainforest
Language:English and a fictional native language
Indian Content:high
Home Release:DVD
Rating: lousy ok good very good excellent

While an American engineer is constructing a dam in the Amazon River, his son is captured by the leader of an indigenous tribe called The Invisible People. The father spends the next ten years searching for his son in the jungle, but when he finally finds him, the blond-haired boy is a fully-assimilated Indian and a respected hunter in his village. The father realizes that the boy can never go back to civilization, however, the two team up to fight a gang of Brazilians who are kidnapping their women for prostitution, and in the course of getting to know the Invisible People, the father reconsiders his dam project because of the repurcussions it would have on his son's tribe. The Emerald Forest creates a fictional tribe and culture and language based on other Amazon cultures. It is less naturalistic and more fantasy-like than some of the other rainforest movies on this site, its high production values, gripping story, and sexy teen natives make it great introduction to the genre of Native American film for people who might not otherwise watch such movies, and may then be inspired to watch less accessible films such as Jericó or Brava Gente Brasileira. Check out the Emerald Forest Website.

(The Great Match)
Director:Gerardo Olivares
Writers:Gerardo Olivares, Chema Rodríguez
Cinematography:Gerardo Olivares
Music:Martin Meissonnier
Year/length:2006. 88 minutes.
Setting: Altai Mountains in Mongolia; Tenere Desert in Niger; Amazon; 2002
Languages: Kazakh, Tamashek, Sanema
Indian Content:medium
Home Release:DVD
Rating: good

Three different groups of people in three parts of the world struggle to find a working TV so that they can watch the 2002 World Cup Final between Brazil and Germany. The Kazakhs of Mongolia are a nomadic, horse and camel riding people who use eagles to help them hunt. They have a TV but have to hook it up to a state source of electricity, and they are fined by officials until they invite them to watch the game. The Tuaregs are a nomadic Berber group in the Sahara living mostly in Niger, Mali, and Algeria. They need an antenna for their TV, and catch a ride with an overloaded bus going in the opposite direction to find a metal tree that will catch the signal. The Sanema (also called Sanumá) are a group of about 1500 people living near the border of Brazil and Venezuela, and the Sanema language is part of the Yanomam family. They have a grind-by-hand generator and an antenna, but run into various problems and finally visit the white men to see the end of the game, and--Brazil wins!! This is a fun, light-hearted movie with great scenery and cinematography, showing dazzlingly different landscapes and lifestyles--hot and cold, wet and dry, nude and clothed.

Official site:


Director:Norma Bengell
Writer:José Joffily Filho
Cinematography:Antônio Luis Mendes
Music:Wagner Tiso
Year/length:1996. 91 minutes.
Setting:rainforest, 1600s
Home Release:VHS; all-region DVD (neither has English subtitles)

One of several adaptations of the 1857 novel by José de Alencar (1829-1877), this film tells of a forbidden love between Peri, a Guarani man, and Ceci, a European woman. This version stars Márcio Garcia and Tatiana Issa. I haven't seen this film, but it was apparently a critical and commercial flop. Other adaptations were released in 1908, 1912, 1920, 1926, 1948 (an Italian production) and 1979. For all the novel's popularity, it has never been translated into English.

Hans Staden: La Vem Nossa Comida Pulando

Lá Vem Nossa Comida Pulando

Director/writer:Luis Alberto Pereira
Cinematography:Ulrich Burtin
Music:Marlui Miranda, Lelo Nazario
Year/length:2000. 92 minutes.
Setting:east coast, 1554
Language:Tupi, German, Portuguese, French
Indian Content:high
Home Release:none
Rating: lousy ok good very good

Based on the experiences of Hans Staden, a Hessian sailor who was captured by the Tupinamba Indians in Brazil. The Tupinambas are friends of the French, while their rivals, the Tupiniquins, are friends of the Portuguese. The Tupinamba believe Hans is Portuguese because he has not brought them any presents, and so they decide to eat him as an act of revenge against the Portuguese. Hans is unable to convince them that he is German and a friend of the French, even when other Frenchmen come to visit the village. He can only stave off being eaten by making the Tumbiambas believe that his god will be angry with them if he is harmed. Meanwhile, he must witness a cannibalistic ritual performed on a captured Tupiniquin. Despite the gruesome subject matter, the film is not excessively gory, though it is unflinchingly realistic. The natives emit loud whoops, yells and singing that some viewers might find disturbing, and there is candid male and female nudity throughout the entire film. Hans Staden won several awards, many for its cinematography.

Resumo em português:
Hans Staden, viajante alemão que em 1550 naufragou no litoral de Santa Catarina. Dois anos depois, conseguiu chegar em São Vicente, reduto da colonização portuguesa. Ali ficou dois anos trabalhando como artilheiro do forte de Bertioga. Já se preparava para voltar à Europa, onde receberia o reconhecimento e o ouro de El-Rei de Portugal, por seus serviços na Colônia. Staden tinha para si um escravo da tribo Carijó que servia o Forte. Em 1554, preocupado com o escravo que havia desaparecido depois de sair para pescar, resolveu procurá-lo pelas redondezas. Em uma canoa navegou por um rio próximo, onde o escravo costumava pescar. Porém, ao invés do carijó, encontrou uma cruz fincada à beira do rio. A cruz tinha uma simbologia que Staden conhecia: era o sinal para os portugueses chamarem os Tupiniquins, seus aliados. Ele, então, deu um tiro de mosquestão para chamar os tupiniquins e obter notícias de seu escravo. Os tupiniquins não apareceram, porém sete tupinambás, tribo inimiga dos portugueses, o cercaram e aprisionaram. Staden foi levado para a Aldeia de Ubatuba onde seria devorado num ritual antropofágico.

India, a filha do sol

(Indian Woman, The Daughter of the Sun)
Director:Fábio Barreto
Writers:Marco Altberg, Fábio Barreto, Eduardo Coutinho, Bubi Leite Garcia, Bernardo Élis
Cinematography:Pedro Farkas
Music:Caetano Veloso
Year/length:1982. 85 minutes.
Setting:a Javaé village; Jaratataca, Goiás
Language:Portuguese, some Karaja (?)
Indian Content:medium high
Home Release:DVD in Brazil
Rating: ok

A father and daughter from a Javaé village in the state of Goiás travel with their pet deer to the world of white men. A soldier gets the father (Rui Polonah) drunk so that he can take off with the girl, Put-Kôe (Glória Pires). After he has had his fun, Put-Kôe, who speaks no Portuguese, follows him as he continues on his mission to investigate a diamond extraction business in the jungle village of Jaratataca. The soldier and girl stay together for a while until one day she finds him cooking and eating her pet deer. She returns angrily to her father in the village. The soldier forgets about her until one day the father confronts him with his pregnant daughter, demanding that he marry her. The soldier's mission regarding the diamond business is never fully explained and detracts from the touching story of Put-Kôe. Thus the film is somewhat unsatisfying, despite the fine cinematography and Caetano Veloso's soundtrack. The choice of Glória Pires for the role of an indigenous girl doesn't help much either. She is a talented actress, but just looks too European to play the role convincingly. Based on the story "Ontem, como hoje, como amanhã, como depois" ("Yesterday, like today, like tomorrow, like afterwards") by Bernardo Elis (1915-1997).

Resumo em português:
É uma história moderna sobre o envolvimento de um branco e uma índia e das imensas diferenças culturais entre ambos e a violência do garimpo onde vivem. O filme começa com um soldado uniformizado e armado, chegando de barco a uma região do interior do Brasil. No mesmo barco estão uma jovem índia e seu pai. O soldado fica em uma pousada enquanto os índios ficam por perto. Ele resolve pedir ao dono do bar que embebede o pai da índia, para dormir com ela. No dia seguinte, ao seguir viagem pela floresta, o soldado percebe que a índia veio atrás dele com seus poucos pertences e uma cabrita de estimação. Sem se falarem, ele permite que a índia o acompanhe no seu caminho. Ao chegar ao seu destino, um garimpo de diamantes no meio da mata, o soldado se mostra a vontade em meio aos homens rudes e as prostitutas do lugar. Ele logo é contratado por dos chefões do garimpo. Já a índia é totalmente deixada de lado por todos, mas ela só deseja ficar com seu amado e continuará com ele até o fim.

(Iracema, An Amazon Affair)
Directors:Jorge Bodanzky, Orlando Senna
Story:Jorge Bodanzky, Hermanno Penna
Script:Orlando Senna
Cinematography:Jorge Bodanzky
Music:Jorge Bodanzky, Achim Tappen
Year/length:1974/1981. 90 minutes.
Setting:Transamazon Highway
Indian Content:medium
Home Release:none
Rating: good

Filmed in a starkly realistic documentary style, this film shows the effects of the Trans-Amazonian Highway that was cut through the rain forest in 1972. Iracema (Edna de Cássia) is a young woman of Indian appearance who seeks a living as a prostitute by hitchhiking from town to town along the highway. She is picked up by various men, who treat her with varying degrees of crudeness. Along the way we meet other people who talk about how the highway has affected their lives: farmers who saw their land taken from them because they had not documentation of ownership, loggers who did the hard work of blazing the trail only to find the price of wood dropping when the highway came. At the beginning of the film Iracema meets the worldly trucker Tião, who is optimistic about Brazil's progress, and she haggles over her services, starting at 30 cruzeiros. At the end of the film, several mishaps later, Iracema meets Tião again, though he does not recognize her at first. Tião has lost his logging truck and is now transporting cows and making less money than before. Iracema asks for a ride, now asking only 5 cruzeiros, and Tiao leaves her behind. Iracema was filmed in 1975 but was not released commercially until 1981 because of censorship. Iracema is the only major Indian character; the forest's aboriginal inhabitants, who suffered most from the highway, only appear as passing shadows in the onslaught of progress.

Resumo em português:
O filme é na realidade um auto-retrato da população da Transamazônica. Retrata realisticamente os problemas da região. Conta a história de uma menina do interior, que vai a Belém com a família para pagar promessa na festa do Sírio Nazaré. O novo meio e as companhias que encontra levam a menina à prostituição. Conhece num cabaré um motorista de caminhão Tião Brasil Grande, negociante de madeira. Influenciada pelas outras prostitutas ela quer ir para os grandes centros (São Paulo e Rio) e pega carona com o motorista. O filme é na realidade um auto-retrato da população da Transamazônica. Retrata realisticamente os problemas da região. Conta a história de uma menina do interior, que vai a Belém com a família para pagar promessa na festa do Sírio Nazaré. O novo meio e as companhias que encontra levam a menina à prostituição. Conhece num cabaré um motorista de caminhão Tião Brasil Grande, negociante de madeira. Influenciada pelas outras prostitutas ela quer ir para os grandes centros (São Paulo e Rio) e pega carona com o motorista. Saem pela Transamazônica, testemunhando toda a espécie de acontecimentos e dramas que a construção da estrada impôs aos habitantes locais. Abandonada pelo motorista num bordel à beira da estrada, a jovem se vê diante de uma realidade cada vez mais chocante e decadente.


Director:Ruy Guerra
Writers:Ruy Guerra, Rudy Langemann
Cinematography:Edgar Moura
Music:Egberto Gismonti
Year/length:1989. 119 minutes.
Setting:Recife (city on NE coast) and Xingu, 1954-64
Indian Content:medium
Home Release:none
Rating: lousy ok good very good

Based on the 1967 novel Quarup by Antônio Callado. Nando, a Jesuit priest (played by Taumaturgo Ferreira) is frustrated by Church authoritarianism and the doctrine of celibacy. Don Anselmo (Dionísio Azebedo) reassigns him to the Xingu missionary settlement. Fearing temptation by the naked natives, Nando is encouraged by a sexy English reporter (Maitê Proença) who seduces him. Stopping at Rio de Janeiro on his way to the Xingu, Nando meets the authorities who are creating a national park in the Xingu, but he learns that their true motive is to gain political control of the region. He arrives at the missionary settlement in time for the kuarup, an elaborate ceremony celebrating the creation of humans. Returning to his original post in Recife, Nando finds that Don Alselmo has been assassinated by a friend of his. Disenchanted, Nando returns to the Xingu and embraces their culture and their cause. Kuarup was said to be the most expensive Brazilian film ever made up to that time. High production values and Fereirra's powerful performance enhance this sweeping critique of modern Brazil.

Resumo em português:
Padre Nando está em crise porque não consegue conter seus instintos sexuais. Seu conflito fica ainda maior quando Don Anselmo (Dionísio Azevedo) o designa a participar das missões do Xingu, pois Nando (Taumaturgo Ferreira) teme que as índias nuas o levem à tentação. Porém ele é reconfortado por uma repórter inglesa (Maitê Proença) com quem acaba tendo uma relação sexual. Dias depois, Nando vai ao Rio de Janeiro e reúne-se com as autoridades que estão criando o Parque Nacional do Xingu. Lá ele descobre que a verdadeira intenção é garantir o controle político da região. Assim, Nando viaja ao Xingu, chegando a tempo de participar do Kuarup, a cerimônia indígena que retrata a criação dos Homens. Durante a celebração, ocorre o suicídio de Getúlio Vargas, piorando ainda mais a situação política. De volta a Recife, Nando descobre que Don Anselmo foi assassinado por um amigo seu. Sentindo-se culpado, ele abandona o sacerdócio e retorna ao Xingu onde abraça de vez a causa indígena. Tempos depois, em Recife, Nando se une aos camponeses contra o regime miliar e acaba sendo preso e torturado. Mas isto só aumenta sua vontade de lutar pela liberdade. Num dos filmes brasileiros de maior repercussão internacional, o diretor Ruy Guerra (de “Erendira” e os Fuzis”) faz uma análise da História do Brasil no período de 1930 ao golpe militar de 64. Baseado no romance “Quarup”, uma das obras mais importantes da literatura brasileira comtemporânea.

A Lenda de Ubirajara

(The Legend of Ubirajara)
Director:André Luiz Oliveira
Writers:Mário Arumani, Antônio Castor, André Luiz Oliveira
Cinematography:Mário Cravo Neto
Music:Tuzé de Abreu
Year/length:1975. 90 minutes.
Setting:rainforest, pre-Colombian times
Language:Macro-Gê Karaja
Indian Content:very high
Home Release:none
Rating: lousy ok good very good

Based on the classic 1874 novel Ubirajara, Senhor da lança, the third in a trilogy of Indian-themed novels by José de Alencar. Ubirajara ("Lord of the Spear") is the son of Camacan, chief of the Araguaia people. He sets out incognito on a canoe to earn the name of a warrior. He spots a Tocantim girl on the shore, chases after her, and loses her. He then battles Pojucã, the mightiest Tocantim warrior, and brings him back to his tribe as a captive, thereby earning the name of warrior. But Ubirajara has fallen in love with Araci, the girl on the shore. He cruelly rejects his current girlfriend, offering her as a tomb-bride to the captive Pojucã, and heads to the Tocantim village to claim Araci. He proclaims his intentions to the chief, Itaquê, and easily wins the wrestling contests required of a suitor. Thus Ubirajara and Araci marry, but no one knows that Araci is the brother, and Itaquê the father, of the captive Pojucã. When the truth is revealed, a war breaks out between the two villages. Spoken entirely in the native language of Karaja, and with mostly native actors, this pre-Columbian adventure is one of the most naturalistic films on Indians. Action, romance, and skimpy thongs should make it a crowd-pleaser even for those who can't read the Portuguese subtitles.

Click here for an English translation of the film.

Resumo em português:
Jaguaré, filho de Camacã, chefe da nação Araguaia, quer conquistar um nome de guerra, o que só conseguirá se vencer um inimigo poderoso. Para isso, ele vagueia pela floresta, onde encontra Araci, filha de Itaquê, cacique da nação Tocantins - esse apaixona-se por ela, esquecendo a noiva Jandira. Num combate formidável, Jaguaré vence Pojucã, guerreiro tocantins, que é levado prisioneiro para merecer a morte dos valentes. Enquanto isso, Jaguaré penetra na taba dos tocantins como hóspede, para enfrentar as provas de amor e merecer a mão de Araci. Ele as vence todas, mas quando se identifica como Ubirajara, nome que conquistou por vencer Pojucã, Itaquê manda-o embora para enfrentar os tocantins numa guerra de honra. Ubirajara faz um acordo: rechaça os tapuias, que ameaçam os tocantins e estabelece a paz com a nação de Araci, com quem finalmente se casa, fundando a grande nação dos Ubirajaras.

(Z - A Cidade Perdida)
Director:James Gray
Writers:James Gray, David Grann
Cinematography:Darius Khondji
Music:Christopher Spelman
Year/length:2017. 141 minutes.
Setting:England, Bolivia, Brazil, Belgium; 1906-1925
Language:English, some Spanish
Indian Content:medium-low
Released on:DVD
Rating: lousy ok good

Percy Fawcett (1867-1925[?]) was a mapmaker for the Royal Geographical Society of the U.K. who was sent to South America in 1906 to map the border between Bolivia and Brazil. In the Matto Grosso area of Brazil's Amazon Fawcett claimed to have found archaeological remnants of what looked like an advanced civilization which he called the Lost City of Z. After fighting in the First World War, Fawcett returned to the Amazon with his son in 1925 to find the City of Z, and was never heard from again. Fawcett's earlier explorations inspired author Arthur Conan Doyle to write the 1912 novel The Lost World. The film The Lost City of Z is based on the 2009 book by David Grann. The seven expeditions discussed by Grann are condensed to three for the movie, which also dramatizes Fawcett's fighting in World War I, his struggles with the Royal Geographical Society, which treated many of his claims with derision, and his relationship with his family, which was strained by so many long absences. The film portrays Fawcett's success in exploration as a result of his ability to establish friendly relationships with the natives through trust and gifts.

In the past 20 years archaeologists have been exploring an area of the Upper Xingu River that shows evidence of an advanced civilization. The area is about 7,700 square miles, about the size of New Jersey, and appears to have contained 28 towns, with roads, bridges, canals, defensive ditches, farms, plazas as large as 490 feet wide. These settlements were occupied from about 800 to 1600 AD and may have been populated by as many as 50,000 people. If only the movie had speculated about this city instead of spending so much time with Fawcett's boring family!

Medicine Man

Director:John McTiernan
Writer:Tom Schulman
Cinematography:Donald McAlpine
Music:Jerry Goldsmith
Year/length:1992. 105 minutes. PG-13.
Language:English, some passages in an unspecified native language
Indian Content:medium
Home Release:DVD
Rating: lousy ok good

An eccentric scientist (Sean Connery) believes he has found a cure for cancer in the Juju flower that grows high in the trees, 100 feet up in the canopy of the rain forest. Dr. Rae Crane (Lorraine Bracco) arrives to bring equipment and review his work. Expecting a research assistant, Dr. Campbell is aghast to find that the scientist is not only a woman, but his supervisor. Veering uncomfortably close to romantic comedy, Medicine Man is saved by beautiful footage of the rainforest and its inhabitants (played convincingly by native-looking actors) and a valuable message about the twin dangers of deforestation and greedy pharmaceutical corporations. Though some of the comedy is enjoyable (such as Dr. Crane's experience with a powerful stimulant derived from bark), Medicine Man might have benefited from a more intense exploration of its vital themes.

No coracao dos deuses DVD

(In the Heart of the Gods)
Director/writer:Geraldo Moraes
Cinematography:César Moraes
Music:André Moraes, Grupo Sepultura
Year/length:1999. 107 minutes.
Setting: Mato Grosso, 17th century
Home Release:DVD (region 4)

A group of adventurers set out to find the treasure of the martyrs, following the trail of a recently discovered map from the 17th century. Along the way they encounter the fierce Arae Indians (who sadly no longer exist; they are played in this film by the Kraho Indians). Based on the 1920 novel A Bandeira de Fernão Dias by Brazilian writer Paulo Setúbal (1893-1937).

Resumo em português:
Um grupo de aventureiros parte em busca do tesouro dos martírios, seguindo o roteiro de um mapa recém-descoberto, datado do século XVII. No meio da viagem, terminam indo parar no tempo dos bandeirantes, onde encontram índios, invasores e a Bandeira de Fernão Dias. No Coração dos Deuses faz uma homenagem ao escritor Paulo Setúbal, reproduzindo a cena escrita por ele em que Fernão Dias condena o filho à morte. A produção do filme contou com a ajuda dos índios Krahó, que atuaram fazendo a temível tribo Araé. A trilha sonora do filme contou com algumas músicas compostas por Ígor Cavalera e Andreas Kisser, do grupo Sepultura.

(The Jungle)
Director:Leonel Vieira
Writer:Izaías Almada, João Nunes
Cinematography:José António Loureiro
Music:Javier Cámara
Year/length:2002. 105 minutes. PG-16.
Setting:rainforest, Belém do Pará, 1912
Indian Content:low
Home Release:DVD (no English subtitles)
Rating: lousy ok

Alberto (Diogo Morgado) is an aristocratic young man exiled from Portugal. Fleeing to Brazil, he finds a job at a rubber plantation which faces frequent attacks from the Parintintin Indians. The film focuses more on internal fueding at the plantation and Alberto's infatuation with a married woman, Yayá, than on the Indians. The Parintintins only appear in a few scenes and are unambiguously portrayed as the enemy. High production values do not mask bland acting and unfocused direction. A Selva was a coproduction of Portugal, Brazil, and Spain, and was based on the 1930 novel by Ferreira de Castro.

Selva Tragica

Director:Roberto Farias
Writers: Hernâni Donato
Roberto Farias
Cinematography:José Rosa
Music:Luiz Bonfá
Length:104 minutes
Setting:Ponta Porã, Mato Grosso do Sul
early 20th century
Indian Content:low
Released on:Youtube
Rating: lousy ok good very good

In the town of Ponta Porã, in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, near the Paraguayan border, at the beginning of the 20th century, people who harvest yerba mate are captured and taken prisoner by Companhia Mate Laranjeira, an exploitative company that exports the popular herb to Argentina. These renegate harvesters are called chenga-y and are usually poor whites or natives. This movie, based on the 1959 novel by Hernâni Donato, focuses on the white Pablito (Reginaldo Faria) and the indigenous Flora (Rejane Medeiros), who is described as a "party girl", a euphemism for a woman used by the company to satisfy the men. Together with another man they try to escape to the Paraguayan border. The natives only play a very small part in this film, which is included here mainly because it is a classic of the Cinema Novo movement. Rui Polonah, who played the adoptive father in Emerald Forest, has a small role here. A 2021 film by the same name takes place in Belize.
Available on Youtube (no subtitles):

Resumo em português:
A história focaliza a exploração da erva-mate na selva brasileira no início do século. Dona da única concessão, a companhia responsável pela exploração, escraviza os trabalhadores que têm a dura tarefa de transportar nas costas cem, e às vezes duzentos quilos da erva. Revoltados com a situação muitos trabalhadores tentam a fuga, mas os que são capturados sofrem impiedosos castigos.

Tainá - Uma Aventura na Amazônia

Directors:Sérgio Bloch, Tania Lamarca
Writers:Claudia Levay, Reinaldo Moraes
Cinematography:Marcello Corpanni
Music:Luiz Avellar
Year/length:2001. 90 minutes.
Indian Content:medium
Home Release:DVD (South America only)
Rating: lousy ok good

Taina (Eunice Baía) is a little girl living in the Amazon. After the death of her parents and grandfather she wanders from her home and is taken in by Isabel (Branca Camargo), a white scientist studying herbal medicine. Taina discovers many foes among civilization: Isabel's jealous son Joninho; a poacher who wants to steal Taina's pet monkey, Catu; and a rival scientist who tries to thwart Isabel's discovery of a jungle fever vaccine. Beautiful footage of the jungle and its creatures make this film enjoyable for kids and adults. Followed by Tainá 2: A Aventura Continua (2004) and Tainá 3: A Origem (2011).

(The Land of the Red Men)
Director:Marco Bechis
Writer:Marco Bechis, Luiz Bolognesi
Cinematography:Hélcio Alemão Nagamine
Music:Andrea Guerra
Year/length:2008. 108 minutes.
Setting:Mato Grosso do Sul
Language:Portuguese, some Guarani
Indian Content:high
Home Release:DVD (Europe and Brazil)
Rating: lousy ok good very good excellent

When two teenage girls on a Guarani-Kaiowà reservation commit suicide, the leader decides they must move out of the reservation. They take their bare belongings and settle on some unused land on a nearby estate. The wealthy owner of the land gives his overseer a gun to force the Guarani out. But the overseer sympathizes with the Guarani and cannot bring himself to use the gun, although he tries to get them to leave. Gradually more and more Guarani leave the reservation to join the sit-in, and a full-scale rebellion takes hold. This intense film has several fascinating subplots: A young man named Oswaldo (played by Abrisio Silva Pedro) foresees the suicides in a dream, and so he is trained to be a shaman. Oswaldo also befriends the landowner's daughter, who shows him how to ride a motorcycle. The film also explores the relationship between the grim Guarani leader and his emotionally needy son, who craves guidance during these tumultuous events. Birdwatchers features Guarani actors, most of whom are acting for the first time. This is an extremely intelligent, subtle and unique film.

The Italian title (the director is from Italy) is La tierra degli uomini rossi. The official English title, Birdwatchers, refers to the white landowners, one of whom gives a slideshow on birds in one brief scene.

Resumo em português:
Mato Grosso do Sul, Brasil, hoje. Os fazendeiros têm uma vida rica e cheia de diversão. Possuem plantações transgénicas que se perdem de vista e passam os serões com os turistas vindos para ver os pássaros – Birdwatchers. Contudo, nos limites das suas propriedades cresce o descontentamento por parte dos Índios, antigos proprietários legítimos das terras. O suicídio de mais um jovem da reserva catalisa o conflito entre estes dois mundos opostos. No entanto, reside a “curiosidade do outro”. Uma curiosidade que aproximará o jovem aprendiz de xamã, Osvaldo, e a filha de um fazendeiro.

Treasure of the Amazon

Director: René Cardona Jr.
Writers:René Cardona Jr., Jacques Wilson
Cinematography:Daniel Lopez
Music:Mort Garson
Year/length:1985. 104 minutes. Rated R.
Language:English, occasional Spanish
Indian Content:medium
Home Release:DVD
Rating: lousy ok

From B-movie sleazemeister René Cardona Jr. comes this laughably bad jungle adventure about a trio of rogues looking for diamonds in the Amazon. A blurb at the beginning claims that the story is based on true facts that occurred in 1959, though the country is not stated. Emilio "El Indio" Fernández, in one of his late-career embarassments, plays Paco, a hotel owner surrounded by gun-armed Indians and sexy women. He warns all guests that they must declare anything they bring out of the jungle. Hemingway lookalike Stuart Whitman plays El Gringo, a hardened adventurer who once saw his friends beheaded by Indians. El Gringo is returning to the Amazon to find the diamonds he left behind. In the jungle the three rogues contend with wild animals, Paco's armed Indians, some wilder Jibaro Indians with blowdarts, a group of rival diamond-hunters, a voluptuous warrior woman named Morimba, and her unlikely Nazi partner Klaus, who plans to recreate the Third Reich in Argentina. The story and acting are ridiculous, but on the plus side there is plenty of action and some good wildlife footage. The movie also meets Jungle Exploitation Film requirements of women wrestlers, beheadings, man-eating crabs who eat a man's face and eyeballs, and fingers that continue to wiggle after separation from the body. Get the picture?


Director:Cao Hamburger
Writers:Helena Soarez, Cao Hamburger, Anna Muylaert
Cinematography:Adriano Goldman
Music:Beto Villares
Year/length:2012. 102 minutes.
Setting:Xingu River region, 1940s-1970s
Language:Portuguese; several indigenous languges
Indian Content:high
Home Release:DVD
Rating: lousy ok good very good

The story of the Villas-Boas brothers and their efforts to establish a protected area in the Amazon where Indians could govern themselves without invasion or interference by whites.

The DVD release from Breaking Glass Pictures is extremely disappointing, since the 2.35:1 ratio is hacked down down to a paltry 1.33:1, the antiquated dimensions of old-fashioned TVs, doing poor justice to the lush scenery of the film.

Resumo em português:
Anos 1940. Três jovens irmãos decidem viver uma grande aventura. Orlando, Cláudio, 25, e Leonardo, os Irmãos Villas-Bôas, alistam-se na Expedição Roncador-Xingu e partem numa missão desbravadora pelo Brasil Central. A saga começa com a travessia do Rio das Mortes e logo eles se tornam chefes da empreitada, envolvendo-se na defesa dos povos indígenas e de suas diversas culturas, registrando tudo num diário batizado de A Marcha para o Oeste.

Mais velho dos irmãos, Orlando é o articulador entre as etnias indígenas e o poder oficial, responsável por brecar a ingerência externa. Já Cláudio, é o grande idealista e o mais consciente da contradição da expedição – “Nós somos o antídoto e o veneno”, diz. O caçula é Leonardo, vibrante e corajoso. No entanto, suas atitudes podem causar um preço alto para a aventura dos irmãos.

Numa viagem sem paralelo na história, com batalhas, 1.500 quilômetros de picadas abertas, 1.000 quilômetros de rios percorridos, 19 campos de pouso abertos, 43 vilas e cidades desbravadas e 14 tribos contatadas, além das mais de 200 crises de malária, os irmãos Villas-Bôas conseguem fundar em 1961 o Parque Nacional do Xingu, um parque ecológico e reserva indígena que, na época, era o maior do mundo, do tamanho de um país como a Bélgica. Na aventura, os Villas-Bôas conseguem passar pelo território Xavante, de índios corajosos e guerreiros sem nenhuma baixa de ambos os lados. Em seguida, deparam-se com os Kalapalos, os famosos e temidos que teriam matado o explorador inglês Percy Fawcett. Mas, apesar de toda a apreensão e ao contrário do que imaginavam, os irmãos ficam amigos do grande chefe Izarari, e se encantaram com a cultura e os costumes locais. Não previam ainda que ali viveriam a primeira tragédia de suas vidas: um surto de gripe, trazido por eles mesmos, que quase dizima toda a aldeia. Ao recontar a saga dos irmãos, Xingu apresenta a luta pela criação do parque e pela salvação de tribos inteiras que transformaram os Villas-Bôas em heróis brasileiros, traçando diálogo com problemas crônicos do processo de formação brasileiro.

(When I see them or have more information)

Ajuricaba, O Rebelde da Amazônia (Oswaldo Cardeira, 1977)
[No século XVII, os colonizadores portugueses, para garantir a posse da Amazônia, disputada com piratas espanhóis e holandeses, construíram um forte no ponto em que as águas escuras do rio Regro encontram as águas claras do rio Solimões, formando o rio Amazonas. Em torno do forte, nasceu a cidade de Manaus. Ali viviam os índios manaús, guerreiros que adoravam Manari, o bem, e dele receberam a ordem de combater todos os invasores da floresta.] (no subtitles)
Alma Corsaria (Carlos Reichenbach, 1993)
Amazon [TV series starring C. Thomas Howell] (1999)
Amazone (Philippe de Broca, 2000)
Amazônia Caruana (Tizuka Yamasaki, 2010)
[O drama foi uma adaptação do livro O mundo místico dos caruanas da ilha do Marajó. A história de uma jovem chamada Zeneida, que nasce predestinada a ser pajé. No entanto, o seu pai esconde toda história e ela cresce sem saber da própria natureza. Zeneida jamais se deixou passar por uma garota qualquer. Ela sempre soube ser única. A mais esperta entre os dez irmãos; perseverante até na teimosia; atrevida e ousada em suas escolhas. A garota com sua beleza é uma estrela radiante; é o apoio que ampara a mãe, o desafio que provoca qualquer autoridade, e claro, a dor de cabeça que enlouquece a todos. A adolescente, irreverente e luminosa transforma-se quando é desafiada, quando não tem respostas prontas ou não consegue se explicar. Suas ações são incompreensíveis, acessos de pânico, muitas vezes de ira, gritos histéricos, chegando mesmo a pequenas convulsões. As acusações começam em casa, maluca, perdida, ela mesma não sabe o que fazer. Ela só quer sobreviver.]
Ana Terra (Durval Garcia, 1972)
[Rio Grande do Sul, século XVIII. Em meio ao árduo trabalho na terra visando a prosperidade da fazenda e aos constantes ataques de bandoleiros que as milícias não conseguem controlar, uma moça amadurece nos percalços da vida. Fica grávida de um "bugre", que é morto pela família desonrada e depois consegue escapar, junto com o pequeno filho, de uma sangrenta chacina que vitima todos os seus parentes. Basado no romance O Tempo e o vento de Érico Veríssimo.]
Anchieta, Jose do Brasil (Paulo Cesar Saraceni, 1977)
Antes o Tempo não Acabava (Sérgio Andrade, 2016)
Anderson, um jovem indígena, com 20 anos de idade, entra em choque com tradições arcaicas e acaba deixando a comunidade onde mora e seguindo para o centro de Manaus.
Arara, Os (Andrea Tonacci, 1981)
Arara Vermelha (Tom Payne, 1957, 103 min)
Baseado no livro homônimo, de José Mauro de Vasconcelos. A descoberta de uma pedra azul e vermelha desperta a atenção de todos num garimpo da região do Araguaia. Quando o valioso diamante é roubado por Luís e Sá Lua, o delegado Camura e o mestiço Kanaú saem em sua captura. A cobiça pela pedra preciosa gera traição, ataque dos índios Xavantes e Caiapós, e morte.
Aruanã (Libero Luxardo, 1938, 75 min) (fiction/documentary on the Javehes)
Avaeté: Semente da Vingança (Zelito Viana, 1985)
Cabeças Cortadas [Cut Heads] (Glauber Rocha, 1970)
Capitalismo Selvagem [Savage Capitalism] (André Klotzel, 1993)
Caramuru: A Invenção do Brasil (Guel Arraes, 2001)
Casei-me com um Xavante (Alfredo Palácios, 1957)
Homem branco desaparece depois de acidente de avião e se torna cacique de uma tribo de xavantes. Quinze anos depois, ele é trazido de volta da selva para a cidade junto de outros índios enquanto sua velha esposa é ameaçada por uma quadrilha liderada por bela e traiçoeira proprietária de boate.
Cineasta da selva, O [The Filmmaker of the Jungle] (Aurélio Michilis, 1997)
Concerto Campestre [Country Concert] (Henrique de Freitas Lima, 2005)
Confissões de Frei Abóbora [Confessions of Brother Abobora] (Braz Chediak,1971) [based on the novel by José Mauro de Vasconcelos]
Curucu, Beast of the Amazon (Curt Siodmak, 1955) [made in USA]
[Rock Dean and Dr. Andrea Romar travel up the Amazon River to find out why the plantation workers have left their work in panic, allegedly because of attacks from Curucu, a monster who is said to live up the river where no white man has ever been before.]
Desmundo (Alain Fresnot, 2002)
En la tierra del guarán [In the Land of the Guarani] (1934) [made in Argentina]
Encantados (Tizuka Yamasaki, 2014)
Die Farbe der Indios (Klaus Lautenbacher, 1987)
Fim da linha (Gustavo Steinberg, 2008)
São Paulo. Artur é um jornalista desempregado, que busca fazer matérias para a TV mas tem dificuldade em vendê-las. Um de seus trabalhos recentes é com um grupo de índios, que deseja cobrar pela realização da dança da chuva. A idéia é que, caso a população não pague, os índios não dançarão mais e, com isso, não choverá na cidade. Paralelamente o deputado Ernesto Alves deseja se livrar de uma grande quantia de dinheiro que, segundo ele, não sabe como surgiu em seu escritório. O deputado possui um esquema com seu filho, que o fez ganhar 1.313 vezes na loteria.
A Floresta de Jonathas [Jonathas' Forest] (Sergio Andrade, 2012)
Guaranis, Os (Benjamin Oliveira, 1908)
Guarani, O (Paolo Benedetti, 1912)
Guarani, O (João de Deus, 1920)
Guarani, O (Vittorio Capellaro, 1926)
Guarany (Riccardo Freda, 1948) [made in Italy]
Guarani, O (Fauzi Mansur, 1979)
Heróis Trapalhões, Uma Aventura Na Selva (José Alvarenga Jr., 1988) [kids' movie]
Idade da terra, A [The Earth in Anguish] (Glauber Rocha, 1980)
Iracema (Vittorio Capellaro, 1917)
Iracema (Vittorio Cardineli, 1949)
Iracema, a Virgem dos Lábios de Mel (Carlos Coimbra, 1979)
Jivaro (Edward Ludwig, 1954) [made in USA]
Killer Buzz [Flying Virus] (Jeff Hare, 2001)
[Genetically engineered bees are released in the Amazon to kill the Indians so that petroleum companies can move in. Grade B movie.]
Love Slaves of the Amazons (Curt Siodmark, 1957)
[Film made from footage left over from Curucu, Beast of the Amazon, because the director couldn't export the unused footage.]
Manaos (Alberto Vázquez Figueroa, 1978)
Manhunt in the Jungle (Tom McGowan, 1958)
Based on the 1930 book Manhunting in the Jungle by George Dyott, who led an expedition in 1928 to find the missing British explorer Percy Fawcett, who disappeared in the Amazon in 1925 while searching for El Dorado.
Mario (Hermanno Penna, 1999)
A young doctor travels to the Amazon to leave behind the problems in his life.
Palavra e Utopia [Word and Utopia] (Manoel de Oliveira, 2000) [based on life of Antônio Vieira]
Os Porralokinhas (Lui Farias, 2007, 80 min, children's movie)
1970. Durante um ritual uma indiazinha é salva por um pajé graças aos poderes mágicos do Kambô, um talismã em forma de sapo que é cobiçado por Pierre Caiman. Ao tentar capturar o talismã Pierre fere o pajé, que lhe roga uma maldição: diariamente nascerá uma escama sobre seu corpo até que se torne um homem-jacaré. Auxiliada por um explorador, a indiazinha foge pela mata com o talismã. Já em 2006, no Rio de Janeiro, o casal Magali e Beto discutem onde serão as férias de Bena e Lulu , seus filhos. A menina, após uma crise de sonambulismo, revela que tem sonhos com o tio Maneco, que faz parte da infância do pai.
Rouge Brésil (Sylvain Archambault, 2012-13, mini-series)
Based on the novel by Jean-Christophe Rufin.
Savage Gold (George M. Dyott, 1933) [U.S. film]
A dramatization of George Dyott's 1928 expedition to find the missing British explorer Percy Fawcett. Later remade as Manhunt in the Jungle (see above).
Sermões: A História de Antônio Vieira (Júlio Bressane, 1989)
Serras da desordem (Andrea Tonacci, 2006)
In the Maranhao jungle of western Brazil, native people try to live according to their social norms despite government protections that often interfere with their way of life. This is a mix of fiction and documentary.
Um misto de ficção e documentário, dirigido pelo italiano radicado no Brasil, Andrea Tonacci. Todos os personagens do filme são interpretados pelos próprios em uma reconstituição do que foi a vida de Carapirú. No interior do Maranhão, no final da década de 70, uma tribo indígena é incendiada por um grupo de fazendeiros que se viram ameaçados pela sua presença. Os índios são dizimados restando apenas Carapirú, que estava distante no momento. Sem ter para onde ir, o homem caminha sem rumo durante anos. No caminho, encontra uma série de pessoas com quem trava uma amizade mesmo com o bloqueio do idioma, já que ele não fala o português. Depois de dez anos de caminhada, Carapirú é encontrado a 2000km de distância de sua tribo, pela FUNAI. Vai para Brasília e vira celebridade.
Siri-Ará (Rosemberg Cariry, 2008)
Em companhia de uma velha e misteriosa índia, Cioran (Adilson Maghá) vaga pelo sertão em busca de sua própria história. Seu destino o leva a cruzar com grupos de folguedos dramáticos populares que recontam de forma alegórica a colonização do Brasil.
Tava, a casa de pedra (Ariel Ortega, Ernesto de Carvalho, Patrícia Ferreira, Vincent Carelli, 2012, 78 min.)
Interpretação mítico religiosa dos Mbya-Guarani sobre as reduções jesuíticas do século XVII no Brasil, Paraguai e Argentina.
A Troca (Joelma Silva Ferreira, 2016)
A white family and a Papagaio family trade daughters.
No final dos anos 60, a família Moreno vivia em um barracão no meio do seringal. Certo dia, os pais saíram para a colheita da seringueira em mata fechada, deixando as crianças mais novas aos cuidados das mais velhas. Foi quando um grupo de indígenas passou pela casa e uma índia propôs à criançada trocar Antônia, a irmã mais nova de oito meses de idade, por um papagaio. Apanhada pela inocência, a garotada achou a troca justa, pois a ave era adulta, verde e faladora. Quando os pais chegaram e souberam da troca comunicada com euforia pelas crianças, o desespero se apoderou da família que, numa luta contra o tempo, partiu para resgatar a menina.
Ubirajara (Luiz de Barros, 1919) (based on novel by José de Aléncar)
Uirá, um índio em busca de Deus [Uira, An Indian in Search of God] (Gustavo Dahl, 1973) (no subtitles)
Urubu: Story of the Vulture People (George P. Breakston & Yorke Coplen, 1948, English, 66 min.)
George Breakston e Yorke Coplen partem de Los Angeles para o Mato Grosso em busca de um explorador desaparecido nas selvas há 25 anos. Durante a expedição, acontecem vários incidentes como a luta com um jacaré e um índio comido por piranhas. A expedição não encontra o explorador, mas alertado por um médico branco, eles conseguem resgatar uma professora branca capturada pelos índios Urubu. No momento em que estão para partir, descobrem o corpo de um homem branco, porém ficam sem saber se era o cadáver do explorador que tinha motivado a expedição.


Aimbere, tuxana do Brasil
Paulo Verissimo, 1979, 12 min.
Aimbere, líder tupinambo del siglo XVI, regresa a su lugar de origen 4 siglos después y se encuentra con una convulsionada ciudad.

Geraldo Pioli, 2000, 11 min.
A Jesuit priest attempts to teach the ten commandments to a Guarani village in the colonial period.

Alexandre et Luc en Amazonie [Alexander and Luke in the Amazon]
Alain Kerjean, 26 min.
In French. "One day, I would like to invite a French child to to see how he behaves and adapts to living with the Yanomami Indians." This idea launched by ethnologist Jacques Lizot in a letter to the director is the point of departure for a project that leads to an astonishing adventure of two boys who live for two months with the Yanomami in the Orinoko region.

Amazon Diary
Robert Nixon, 1989, 12 min, in English.
A Kayapo community see their lands being destroyed by white men. They travel to Altamira to participate in the Encuentro de las Naciones Indígenas de Xingu, the historic Meeting of Indigenous Nations.
Película ficcionada que narra la historia de un niño kayapó y su comunidad, quienes enfrentan la destrucción de sus tierras. Ante esta situación deciden viajar hasta Altamira, donde se celebra un encuentro de naciones indígenas, para denunciar lo que sucede en su territorio.

Brasil, la guerra de l’or
Joan Salvat, 1986, 30 min.
En primer lugar fue la tierra. De la tierra nació Omán, que fue el primer hombre. Nadie hacía compañía a Omán. Por eso cogió una espuma oscura y con ella creó a los yanomami. De una espuma más clara creó a los hombres blancos. Después Omán repartió a los hombres por el mundo y les dio tierras. La mejor de todas fue para los yanomami.

Cachoeira (Waterfall)
Sergio José de Andrade, 2010, 14 min.
Based on a true story. A group of young indians from Rio Negro takes part in rituals with a blend of beverages and suicide.

Claire Soares, 2008, 15 min.
The CEO of a power plant is planning to build another hydroelectric plant in the rain forest rain forest. His brother Matt knows this will cause suffering for the natives living nearby.

Sérgio José de Andrade, 2009, 16 min.
A boy is found dead in a rural village outside of Manaus. (no subtitles)

Esses e outros bichos (Assorted Animals)
Renato Neiva Moreire, 1979, 22 min.
Los indios y animales se enfrentan, en la selva amazónica, a los invasores de sus tierras.

Gold Rush in the Rainforest
John Sandberg, Jan Peterson, 1989, 54 min., English.
A history of the Tukano people, from their first contact with Europeans to the exploitation of gold in their land.
El film hace un recorrido por la historia del pueblo tukano, desde los primeros contactos con la población "blanca" hasta que comenzó la explotación de oro en su territorio. Ante esta situación los tukano tuvieron que ingeniárselas para controlar tanto a los mineros como al proceso de explotación de oro.

O guardado (The Saved)
Marcelo Felipe Sampaio and Paulo Alvarenga, 2010, 13 min.
A man living in a big city moves to Mato Gross do Sul to live with the Kadiweus. There he has a mystic experience and discovers a 200 year-old legend that haunts the village.

A historia do mostro Khatpy
Associação Indígena Kisêdjê and Video nas Aldeias, 2009, 6 min.
A young Kisedje man is out hunting monkeys when he encounters the legendary Khatpy, a bear-like monster.
Um índio Kisêdjê, da Aldeia Ngôjwêrê encontra um índio feio que ameaça os caçadores na mata.

O Homem que Matou Deus (The Man Who Killed God)
Noe Vitoux, 2013, 15 min.
Wem Tom, a young man in the Amazon, realizes there are no more animals to hunt, so he starts hunting white men.
[Wem Tom, um jovem caçador indígena, percebe que não tem mais caça na floresta, e começa a caçar homens brancos.]

Kaapora, O Chamado das Matas (The Call of the Forest)
Olinda Yawar Muniz Wanderley, 2020, 20 min.
An experimental narrative film about Kaapora, a forest dwelling spirit, protector of the land, and trickster. By developing an environmental recovery project on the land of the Pataxó Hã-hã-hãe, the director explores her people's connection with Earth and spirituality.

Kanga Ngugu: Lingua do peixe (Fish Tongue)
Awayunyc, Kamayura,Karuarawi Aweti,Samurai Kamayura,Tawana kalapalo, 2012, 11 min.
Yay and Taugi, two men from different ethnicities, fish together in the flooded Upper Xingu. Their antics reflect the multilingual society of the Amazon. (no subtitles for the Portuguese)

Paulo Rodrigues, 2016.
Matsiadarro é uma jovem linda que depois de um sonho, fica grávida e sem saber explicar a gravidez e obrigada a morar na maloca da aldeia. A morte e a transformação misteriosa de Mani, filha de Matsiadarro, num vegetal que está presente em muitas plantações da região amazônica. Uma lenda emocionante da cultura indígena. O surgimento do alimento e do termo mandioca.

Mato eles? (Should I Kill Them?)
Sérgio Bianchi, 1983, 55 min.
El docudrama analiza el problema de los indios de la reserva Mangueirinha al sudeste de Paraná en un tono abierto e irónico. Su lenguaje innovador sorprendió a muchos, marcando un hito en la cinematografía brasilera de los años 80. Basado en el texto Paraná Nativo de Jaco Cesar Piccoli.

Moyngo, o sonho de Maragareum
Karané, Kumaré, and Natuyu Ikpeng, 2003, 44 min.
Part dramatization and part oral storytelling, this film recreates the myth of the origin of the tattooing ceremony among the Ikpeng. The chaman Maragareum dreams that everyone in the neighboring Eptxum village has died. Arriving in this village, he finds, in fact, that everyone is dead. As night falls, he hides in the hut, and observes the Moyngo tattoo ceremony from the spirits of the dead.

Mulheres Guerreiras (Txêjkhõ Khãm Mby)
Yaiku Suya, Kamikia P.T. Kisedje, Kokoyamaratxi Suya, Whinti Suya, Kambriti Suya. 2011. 12 min.
Based on a Kisêdjê myth about the secret relationship between a girl and her brother which leads to the revolt of the Women Warriors.

O mundo magico do A'ukre
João Luiz Araujo, 1991, 30 min.
En un esfuerzo por implementar programas de desarrollo autogestionario y conservacionista, una comunidad kayapó instaló en su territorio una pequeña industria, con el objetivo de extraer y procesar, comercialmente, el aceite de la nuez de Paró.

Naia e a lua (Naia and the Moon)
Leandro Tadashi Duarte, 2010, 13 min.
Uma jovem indiazinha de nome Naiá se apaixona pela lua ao ouvir a anciã de sua aldeia contar a história do surgimento das estrelas no céu. Uma belíssima adaptação da lenda indígena sobre o nascimento da vitória-régia, misturando animação e atores reais.

Porcos Raivosos (Enraged Pigs)
Isabel Penoni & Leonardo Sette, 2012, 10 min.
In the Kuikuro language with English subtitles After they find out that their husbands have mysteriously transformed into raging pigs, the women of the village decide to take action.

Segredos da mata (Secrets of the Jungle)
Dominique Gallois & Vincent Carelli, 1998, 37 min.
In Portugese, Spanish and Waiapi.
Nos muestra cuatro fábulas sobre monstruos caníbales, narradas e interpretadas por los indígenas waiapi de la aldea de Taitetuwá. Incluye: Kanha Makuí (O segredo do invisivel), Akukusia (O dono da caça), Anhá Tapirae (A flecha mágica do canibal) y Anerao (O morcego canibal).

Semente Exterminadora
Pedro Neves Marques, 2017, 28 min.
Ywy, an indigenous woman, who is also a robot (?!), warns an oil rig worker about genetically modified monoculture plantations. Ywy is played by Zahy Guajajara.

John Paul Davidson, 1990, English, 50 min.
Los mitos son la llave para entender el universo social y moral de los waura. Aruta cuenta una vez más el mito del espíritu del caimán, mientras que otros miembros de la comunidad teatralizan la narración, espontáneamente, frente a la cámara.

Txêjkho Khãm Mby (Women Warriors)
Kisêdjê community and Video nas Aldeias, 2011, 11 minutes.
A myth about a secret relationship between a girl and her husband's brother gives rise to the revolt of the Warrior Women. Docu-drama.
[Em Txejkho Kham Mby, dois velhos narram um mito, encenado em ficção pelos jovens Kisêdjê, em que uma moça namora secretamente com o próprio irmão. Os acontecimentos que se sucedem a essa paixão proibida dão origem à revolta das "Mulheres guerreiras".]

Uayná – Lágrimas de Veneno
Junior Rodrigues, 2010, 12 min.
Curta de ficção filmado em Presidente Figueiredo, estado do Amazonas. Conta a história de Urê, que nascido homem na tribo das Ycamiabas, é colocado num pote e jogado na cachoeira. Ele sobrevive, é encontrado e criado por uma negra. Já adulto Urê refaz o caminho do pote em busca de suas origens.

Zahy- uma fábula sobre o Maracanã
Felipe Bragança, 2012, 5 min.
In the Maracanã neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro, an indigenous woman watches the construction of a shopping mall on the grounds of the old Museu do Indio in preparation for the the 2014 World Cup. The actress Zahy Guajajara was one of the protesters. She also appeared in Nao devore o meu coracao (Paraguay)

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