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Brazil: a film about Munduruku Indian resistance to dams

July 8 2014

Dear LAB Supporter and Friend,

Brazil: a film about Munduruku Indian resistance to dams 

A new short documentary film about Munduruku Indian resistance to dams on the Tapajos river in Brazilian Amazonas, directed by LAB editor Nayana Fernandez, is being previewed in London on Friday July 11, as part of the First Amazon Film Festival.

In September 2013 LAB editors Sue Branford and Nayana Fernandez visited Jacareacanga on the Tapajós river where in June Munduruku Indians had briefly taken three scientists hostage, accusing the government of failing to consult the local population before carrying out ‘biological’ studies in preparation for building hydro-electric dams on the river. If built, the dams will have a huge impact on water flows, fish population and local communities.

Sue and Nayana interviewed two Munduruku women who had been to a demonstration against the giant Belo Monte dam on the Xingu river, who told them “The impact of these projects is a very bad thing for us. The government is going ahead with this projects and every day it is more advanced. Every day they’re arriving with different things. At the moment it’s more police and the arms forces are surrounding our villages. They think they are going to intimidate us, but we’re never going to be intimidated. Because we are here to fight for our people, for our children, for our nature. We’re going to save all this.”

Later, the LAB editors attended one of the government’s supposed ‘consultation’ meetings, which they found to be a sorry sham. The full story of their trip can be read here.

Throughout their journey, Nayana was filming and recording interviews and she returned to the area in early 2014. Back in the UK she has been hard at work editing the material and has now directed and produced a remarkable and beautiful short documentary. The Munduruku Indians — Weaving Resistance which looks at life in a Munduruku village, where traditional skills are practised and children are brought up with remarkable freedom. It documents the growth of resistance, even among the women, not traditionally fighters, some of whom are emerging as guerreiras (woman warriors).

The film is being pre-viewed on Friday July 11 at the First Amazon Film Festival in London, prior to being finalized and launched on-line in August. See more details of the Festival here.

Sue Branford will also take part in the panel discussion and Nayana’s film is followed in the festival by the remarkable documentary “Toxic: Amazon” by the Brazilian journalist Felipe Milanez.

The organizers of the Festival have kindly offered two free day-passes for each day of the Festival to LAB supporters. These will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. To reserve a pass, click here to e-mail your request, putting ‘Amazon Film Fest free pass for LAB’ into the subject line .

Best wishes,

The LAB Team