Cao Hamburger | Brazil | 2011 | 80’ | In Portuguese | English subtitles
Fact-based story. In the 1940s the map of Brazil still showed lots of blank spots, areas in its interior that rarely saw visitors and were largely undeveloped. The Brazilian government aims to change this. An expedition into Xingu is set up to build roads and airstrips. In the government’s view the area is uninhabited; actually many Indian tribes live there. The brothers Claudio, Orlando and Leonardo Villas-Bôas join the expedition and soon make contact with one of the tribes, unaware how potentially fatal these encounters could be: The expedition members inadvertently expose the indigenous people to diseases to which they have no resistance and many die of an influenza epidemic. Medical help is of course flown in, but the brothers Villas-Bôas realize that the situation requires more radical measures. They argue that the area should become a reserve where the Indians can live in peace. Greedy developers have quite different plans in mind. The brothers are pulled into a fight that will go on for decades.
Director Cao Hamburger pays a lot of attention to the fleshing out of his characters. The brothers for example are not depicted as conservationists, but as individuals struggling with doubt, feelings of guilt and inner conflicts. Stunning camera work and beautiful locations make this film a visual treat.
WED 15 AUG - 21:30 | Marie Heinekenplein
MON 3 SEP - 21:15| VU campus, De Boelelaan