Indigenous Cinema '22
Week One November 11 – 14, 2022

Ixim Ulew

Title: Ixim Ulew
Release Date: 2022
Runtime: 3:30 minutes
Director: Tzutu Kan and Daniel "El Suchi" García
Language: Tzútujil Maya
Countries/Territories: Guatemala
Community/Nation: Tzútujil Maya
Synopsis: 13 years of Mayan Music, 13 years of resistance. Ixim Ulew is the land of Corn, the sacred Mayan lands. The song describes us going to plant seeds and the different phases of growth of the sacred milpa until harvest. The song calls on the different ethnic groups that make up the social fabric of the Mayan peoples. Ixim is the Corn, Ulew is the land, and corn is planted from north to south. Corn revolutionized this civilization and was created by the Mayan woman. With the help of insects, birds, and animals, she created one of the first genetic fusions capable of taming the sacred Corn, and with this she sustains her peoples. “The song is in honor of my mother and grandmother María Cox, since they were the ones who taught me how to plant corn.”
Director Bio: Tzútu Kan means "the blossoming of the serpent" and refers to the Tzútujil nation. Tzútu Kan was raised by the teachings of his grandfather Nicolás Chavaja and a group of artists from the Mayan plateau. Since 2010, he has been planting new proposals for the rehabilitation of languages in the Mayan lands through his rap, creating a unique fusion of the Mayan word and hip hop culture. The Mayan Hip Hop Project mixes three languages—Tzútujil, Kiche, and Kaqchikel—and has attracted the attention of academics and universities, including Vanderbilt University, Kentucky University, UCLA, the Smithsonian Institution, and Chico State. In 2016, he participated in the multilingual Estruendo Festival in the Chopo Museum at UNAM (Mexico), and has been invited to participate in various festivals throughout the world. He is currently working with producers Daniel García, Danilo Rodríguez, and KC Porter.

A vacina

Title: A vacina
Release Date: 2021
Runtime: 9:00 minutes
Director: Benito Miquiles & Mauricio Torres
Language: Portuguese and Sateré-Mawé with English/Portuguese subtitles
Countries/Territories: Brazil
Community/Nation: Sateré-Mawé
Synopsis: Benito Miquiles and a group of Sateré-Mawé warriors participate in a ritual in preparation for the retaking of a portion of their traditionally occupied territory. The area lies outside the Andirá-Marau Indigenous Land located on the border of Amazonas and Pará states, which has been repeatedly invaded by land grabbers and loggers since it was officially demarcated in 1986.
Director Bio:

Benito Miquiles is a young leader of the Sateré-Mawé people. Born on the Andirá river, within his people's demarcated territory, he moved to Parintins in the state of Amazonas, where he graduated in Indigenous Education from the Federal University of Amazonas. Today he lives in a village on the Mamuru river, where he teaches and fights for the recognition of the undemarcated portion of his territory, against the advance of land grabbers and loggers.

Mauricio Torres has a Masters and Doctorate in Human Geography from the University of São Paulo, and conducts research on territorial conflicts involving traditional peoples and communities in the Amazon. He is a professor at the Amazonian Institute of Family Farming at the Federal University of Pará.

New York, just another city/ New York, petei tetã ve rive

Title: New York, just another city/ New York, petei tetã ve rive
Release Date: 2019
Runtime: 18 minutes
Director: André Lopes & Joana Brandão
Language: Portuguese & English with Portuguese/English subtitles (selectable)
Countries/Territories: Brazil/US
Community/Nation: Guaraní Mbyá
Synopsis: A young leader and filmmaker, Patrícia Ferreira has been recognized for the documentaries she has been making with her people, the Guaraní Mbyá. When she is invited to discuss her work at one of the world's largest ethnographic film festivals, the Margaret Mead Film Festival, held at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, she comes across exhibitions, debates, and attitudes that make her think about the "juruá" people’s world, contrasting it with the Guaraní’s modes of existence.
Director Bio:

André Tupxi Lopes is an anthropologist and filmmaker, conducting his PhD in Social Anthropology at the University of São Paulo, with a research internship at New York University. He is a founding member of Ijã Mytyli Cinema Collective of Manoki and Myky Indigenous people, with whom he has been working since 2008. He has participated in the training of Indigenous filmmakers from seven different communities in Brazil, with whom he has directed and produced collaborative documentaries over the past 10 years.

Patrícia Ferreira Pará Yxapy is an Indigenous teacher and audiovisual director of the Mbyá-Guaraní/RS people. In 2007, she co-founded the Coletivo Mbyá-Guaraní de Cinema. She is currently finishing her first authorial feature film, Nhemongueta Kunhã Mbaraete, a compilation of 16 video-letters during the COVID-19 pandemic, co-directed by Graciela Guaraní, Sophia Pinheiro, and Michele Kaiowá. Her films have already circulated in several festivals in Brazil and around the world, winning several awards, including: Honorable Mention at XIV FICA (2012), Cora Coralina Award for best feature at XIII FICA (2011), Best Feature/Medium Award at III CachoeiraDoc, and Honorable Mention at 2011.

Joana Brandão Tavares is Professor of Video Arts at the Institute of Arts, Humanities and Sciences at the Federal University of Southern Bahia and holds a PhD in gender and feminism studies from the Federal University of Bahia. She received the Adelmo Genro Filho Award for best master's dissertation in journalism in 2013 for her comparative study of Indigenous community communication and journalistic coverage of the Indigenous reality. In 2019, she was a visiting researcher at the Department of Anthropology at New York University and also received professional training in digital photography, television screenwriting, and cinematography at NYU's School of Professional Studies. As a filmmaker, she has directed three short documentaries. For her last film, she received the Marsh Short Film Prize for best short documentary from the Royal Anthropological Institute (UK).

Tiam/The Return (El retorno)

Title: Tiam/The Return (El retorno)
Release Date: 2021
Runtime: 16:00 minutes
Director: Eriberto Gualinga
Language: Kichwa and Spanish
Countries/Territories: Ecuador
Community/Nation: Kichwa
Synopsis: In February 2020, in the Kichwa community of Sarayaku in the Ecuadorian Amazon, we were celebrating our Great Cultural and Traditional Festival Uyantza Raymi (the Uyantza Festival). Suddenly, news came that a dangerous virus called COVID-19 was spreading around the world and that a state of emergency had been declared throughout the country. At the same time, massive flooding devastated my community. When people started getting sick, one family decided to leave and go deep into the jungle for protection, embarking on their journey of reconnection.
Director Bio: Eriberto Gualinga is a member of the Kichwa community of the Sarayaku, in the Ecuadorian Amazon. He has a degree in Film from the University of the Arts of Guayaquil. He is a photographer, musician, and activist who began making films in his twenties, when he began to document and tell the story of the defense of the jungle following the incursion of a state-backed oil company and the military into his territory. He has directed six documentary shorts, which have won multiple awards at festivals, and a feature, Helena of Sarayaku.

The Hemispheric Institute and the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage of the Smithsonian Institution present Indigenous Cinema 2022.

Curated by Amalia Córdova

Following Ailton Krenak’s invitation to consider the interdependence between all living beings, we look at what nourishes and sustains us: from the primary bond to land and water, to acts of healing and ceremony. Beyond denunciation, these films delve into Indigenous conceptions of territoriality and spirituality, with images and sounds that channel vitality, connection and relationality in the face of the multiple threats to our collective wellbeing. Can we retrace the pathways, listen to the seeds, to the rivers, and the poets? Can we petition the spirits and sing in our own languages?


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