1881 Post St.
San Francisco, California

At the edge of the imposing but dwindling forest in the southern Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul, a small group of Guaraní/Kaiowá Indians attempts to reclaim their ancestral lands by any means necessary. Forced to leave the reservation due to extreme poverty and suicide, the Guaraní are no longer willing to accept the authority of the wealthy white farmers who claim to own the land. An explosive tension develops as the Guaraní establish a makeshift settlement on the borders of a plantation, and the group’s apprentice shaman, Osvaldo, senses the presence of the evil spirit Anguè hovering at the edge of the forest. Osvaldo also encounters another danger in the local farmer’s daughter, whose interest in him is far from antagonistic. With Birdwatchers, director Marco Bechis subverts the usual conventions of films about native peoples by portraying his Guaraní protagonists as conflicted, spiritual individuals who have been forced into a corner by centuries of land grabs. Furious in its politics and its beauty, the film plays almost like The Grapes of Wrath by way of Werner Herzog’s Aguirre, while remaining startlingly original.” —Travis Miles, LAFF

Written by Bechis, Luiz Bolognesi. Photographed by Hélcio Alemão Nagamine. With Claudio Santamaria, Chiara Caselli, Matheus Nachtergaele, Leonardo Medeiros. In Guarani and Portuguese with English subtitles. (100 min, IFC Films)

Official Website: http://www.sffs.org/content.aspx?pageid=1278

Added by cinesoul on September 25, 2009

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