The Territory: NZIFF Review
Cinematographer Alex Pritz turns his attention to the Indigenous Uru-eu-wau-wau people of Brazil, in this doco that may shape some of your perceptions of life in Brazil.
With only 200 of their number alive, the Uru-eu-wau-wau people's story is one of a continual fight between the past and the future, as various incursions come into their land and the people fight back against deforestation in the Amazon.
There's no denying that Pritz's sensibilities lies with the indigenous people, and that's perhaps to be expected, but what The Territory does is to label the fight with a degree of intelligent sensibility as it allows all sides of the arguments to be heard.
But it's the imagery in Pritz's film that make it stunning.
An opening shot of a drone being deployed to show the scale of the deforestation is jaw-dropping (one of those present describes it as ugly) as it reveals the extent of how close the work has come to their own land.
It's not that The Territory is not a worthy documentary, and it's not that the filmmakers have tried their best to cover all the sides involved, but at times it does feel like the film's a little too unbalanced, wearing its sympathies and its urgencies on its sleeve.
But with Pritz at the helm, and the fact time is running out generally, perhaps that's no bad thing here. The film's ace is letting its indigenous subjects tell its story, and its journey is one that doesn't feel like it has yet ended.