Magazine article New Internationalist

Birdwatchers

Magazine article New Internationalist

Birdwatchers

Article excerpt

Birdwatchers

directed and co-written by Marco Bechis (108 minutes)

It's a timeless scene that convinces and thrills the birdwatching tourists boating along the river -a Guaraní group with bows and arrows, in body and face paint, picturesquely grouped on the bank and in shallow water. Sadly, it's faked. The boat passes and the group files off to a waiting pick-up.

We probably crudely imagine indigenous people in the Amazon, naked or nearly so, using primitive technology, living in the forest. For Nadio, Lia, Osvaldo and the others, it's not so. They live in poverty on a small reserve, working as cane cutters on plantations, and, when they're lucky, as forest ornament. That is, until two of their young women hang themselves from trees. The group leaves the reserve for the land where their ancestors are buried, now part of a cattle ranch. …

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