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June 20–22, 2014

Facets Indigenous Film Festival: Brazil

Nilson Tuwe Huni Kuin

Facets Indigenous Film Festival: Brazil is a weekend long film festival at Facets, honoring Nilson Tuwe Huni Kuin—shaman, filmmaker, forest agent and youth leader from the Amazon.

The festival explores recent films that depict the struggles of indigenous Brazilians in contemporary society. The convergence of media and technology in a global culture is changing the way we learn about the world and is challenging the very foundations of advocacy, human rights, and social democracy. Through filmmaking and other forms of media literacy, a platform is created for those fighting for equal citizenship in the 21st century.

Order tickets


$9 general admission

FREE for Facets Members

Opening Night—Friday, June 20

Short Film Program: Framing the Village

The history of ethnographic film is blemished by the colonial project to document and codify non-Western, "native" cultures before they modernize and disappear. In this film program, Framing the Village, several short films map a monumental shift in ethnographic filmmaking.

Total runtime: 103 min.

Box of Treasures

Film still: Box of Treasures



Directed by Judy Hoffman, 1983, 28 min.

Box of Treasures is an eloquent testimony to the persistence and complexity of British Columbia's Kwakiut'l society and to their struggle for redefining cultural identity in an age in which their personal history has been turned into museum attractions.

Filmmaker Judy Hoffman will be present to introduce and, after the screening, discuss the film.

Indigenous Filmmakers
(Cineastas Indígenas)

Film still: Indigenous Filmmakers



Directed by Vincent Carelli, 2010, 32 min.

Indigenous Filmmakers documents the fascinating history of Video in the Villages, a Brazilian project founded by anthropologist and activist Vincent Carelli. The organization supports indigenous peoples' struggles by providing audiovisual education, resources, and support so their unique and personal views can be recorded.

Audiovisual Training of Indigenous Women

Film still: Audiovisual Training of Indigenous Women



Directed by Mari Corrêa and Rachel Diniz, 2012,
17 min.

This film documents Catitu Instituto's mission to give voice and visibility to indigenous women in the Brazilian Amazon and empower them to use the tools and languages of contemporary cultural production such as video and photography.

Us and Them
(Nós e Eles)

Film still: Us and Them



Directed by Nilson Tuwe Huni Kuin, 2013, 26 min.

Us and Them is a powerful and informative education tool that raises awareness about the delicate balance among government policy, cultural heritage, and environmental rights.

Filmmaker Nilson Tuwe Huni Kuin will be present to introduce and, after the screening, discuss the film.


  • Fri., June 20 at 7:30 pm
The screenings will be preceded by a reception at 6:30 pm sponsored by Whole Foods Market.

Saturday, June 21: First Contact

For indigenous societies, contact with outsiders can cause detrimental effects that too often end with the erasure of entire cultural infrastructures and even the people who once sustained them. Through varying perspectives, the three feature and two short films in Saturday's program explore the effects of "first contact" on Brazil's indigenous population.

Heart of Brazil
(Coração do Brasil)

Film still: Heart of Brazil



Directed by Daniel Santiago, 2012, 86 min.

Heart of Brazil documents a study about the impact of the Xingu National Park's formation by the Brazilian government. Three participants from the original study of indigenous residents in the region, before the park's establishment, retake the same course they took fifty years before, revisiting villages, reuniting old friends, and noting the dramatic developments and changes in the conditions of region's inhabitants.


  • Sat. June 21 at 2:00 pm

Short Film Program: Rubber Boom

Since the late 19th century, one of the most profitable resources extracted from the Amazon has been rubber. While a handful of South Americans and Westerners became very rich during the first and second rubber booms, the exploits had a large, lasting, and negative impact on the indigenous population and the environment. The films in this program explore the negative effects on two indigenous groups from northern Brazil: the Huni Kui and the Tapayuna.

Total runtime: 82 min.

I've Already Become an Image
(Já me transformei em imagem)

Film still: I've Already Become an Image



Directed by Zezinho Yube, 2008, 32 min.

In this short documentary, we are given the history of the Huni Kui people, from the time of first contact, to their subsequent captivity in the rubber plantations, until their work and social positions in contemporary Brazil.

Wotko and Kokotxi:
A History of the Tapayuna
(Wotko e Kokotxi—Uma Historia Tapayuna)

Film still: Wotko  and Kokotxi: A History of the Tapayuna



Directed by Kamikia Kisêdjê, 2012, 50 min.

For decades, the Tapayuna people fought the invasion of their lands, just north of the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil. This film documents the memories of the tragic occurrences, related to this fight, that still grip the Tapayuna people today.


  • Sat. June 21 at 4:00 pm
Chicago Premiere

Pïrinop: My First Contact
(Pïrinop: Meu Primerio Contato)

Film still: Pirinop: My First Contact
Grand Prize
Amazonas Film
Fest Brazil
Special Jury Award
Intl Documentary
Fest, Brussels

Directed by Mari Corrêa and Karané Txicão, 2007,
83 min.

Threatened by the invasion of gold prospectors in their own territory, the Ikpeng people were transferred to the Xingu National Park, where they live to this day. This film tells the story of this transition, or what is left of it: the remembrance, the exile, the abandoned land, and the culture and identity of a people.

A panel discussion will follow the screening.


  • Sat. June 21 at 5:45 pm

The Age of the Earth
(A Idade da Terra)

Film still: The Age of the Earth
Golden Lion
Film Fest
"Unmissable... an epic film"
  —Chicago Reader

Directed by Glauber Rocha, 1980, 140 min.

Famed Cinema Novo director Glauber Rocha's last film, The Age of the Earth, presents a retelling of Brazil's history, full of archetypes, myths, and symbols that defy rational reality and seek to create an aesthetic that resists the classification of colonial anthropology.

Facets Director Milos Stehlik will introduce the film.


  • Sat. June 21 at 8:30 pm

Closing Night—Sunday June 22

Belo Monte: Announcement of War
(Belo Monte: Anúncio de uma Guerra)

Film still: Belo Monte: Announcement of War



Directed by Andre D'Elia, 2012, 105 min.

Belo Monte: Announcement of War provides a kaleidoscopic view of the biggest and most polemical construction project in Brazil today, the Belo Monte Dam. At the heart of this film is the systematic disregard of Brazil's indigenous population, whose land is threatened by the dam. This harrowing film is an example of the power of solidarity and activism, finally giving a voice to those who have been long ignored.


  • Sun., June 22 at 2:00 pm

Master and the Divine
(O mestre e o Divino)

Film still: Master and the Divine



Directed by Tiago Campos Torres, 2013, 85 min.

Master and the Divine presents village life surrounding the mission of Sangradouro from two different historical and cultural perspectives. Together, the two viewpoints weave a narrative ripe with irony and emotion that relates the history of indigenous catechizing in Brazil.

A panel discussion will follow the screening.


  • Sun., June 22 at 4:00 pm

Short Film Program: Towards Preservation

For almost 20 years, non-profit organizations like Video in the Villages, Catitu Instituto, and Thydêwá have helped create a generation of media literate indigenous people in Brazil. In Towards Preservation, we present two short documentaries and one short docudrama that show the struggle to preserve tradition, family, territory, and the Amazon.

Digital Indigenous
(Indigena Digitais)

Film still: Digital Indigenous



Directed by Sebastián Gerlic, 2010, 32 min.

Digital Indigenous shows how computers, cellphones, and the Internet are integral to the political struggle of three indigenous communities, giving new meaning to the phrase "digital native."

Owners of the Water:
Conflict and Collaboration Over Rivers

Film still: Owners of the Water



Directed by Laura Graham, David Hernández Palmar, and Caimi Waiásse, 2008, 34 min.

A unique collaboration between two indigenous filmmakers and an anthropologist, Owners of the Water explores an indigenous campaign to protect a river from the devastating effects of uncontrolled Amazonian soy cultivation.

Iracema (of Questembert)

Film still: Iracema



Directed by Maria Thereza Alves, 2009, 27 min.

Iracema (of Questembert) recounts the story of Iracema, a young indigenous woman from Corubime. She learns that she has inherited her father's estate and in order to protect it and preserve her people's way of life, Iracema must fight against prejudices of the local authorities, who would rather buy the land from her than see it in the hands of a "savage."


  • Sun., June 22 at 6:30 pm
Order tickets


$9 general admission

FREE for Facets Members

The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. Call the Cinémathèque Hotline at 773.281.4114 for the latest schedule, showtimes and updates.

For all Cinémathèque inquiries, contact Charles Coleman at 773.281.9075 or

  • John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Artworks: National Endowment for the Arts
  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
  • Comer Family Foundation
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Alphawood Foundation
  • Polk Bros. Foundation