Birdwatchers Review

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A group of indigenous Brazilians, the Guarani, decide to make a stand to the landowners and large-scale farmers over a stretch of land with great cultural significance.


Brazil’s indigenous tribes have endured 500 years of slow genocide. Yet by opening this tract with a scene of some Guarani-Kaiowá tribes-people posing as Amazonian savages for the benefit of a boatload of tourists, director Marco Bechis hoists himself by his own petard. It’s thuddingly apparent that the non-professional performers are enacting caricatures assigned them by a conscience-stricken liberal. With a story that has his characters bent on reclaiming an ancestral burial ground, Bechis achieves a tangible sense of place and makes telling use of missionary composer Domenico Zipoli, but his story lacks nuance and emotional equilibrium.

Having captured an authentic and compelling tone, the cliched story twists lets the film's down occasionally.