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Return from Extinction

Return from Extinction

This film tells the remarkable recent history of the hiding Panara tribe, who are descended from a large tribe known in the 18th century as the Southern Kayapo. They were attacked so often by the Portuguese that they were believed to have become extinct. But they fled into the deepest part of the forest, and killed all strangers on sight.

With extraordinary footage in the 1960s, we watch as Claudio Villas Boas, and his team from Brazil's Indian Protection Service, make the first patient attempts to contact the Panara before a planned development road exposes them to 'civilization'. Then, in spite of Claudio's efforts, we are witnesses in the 1970s as the tribe is virtually wiped out by diseases contracted when two huge roads opened up their lands to an influx of rubber tappers and gold diggers. With the aid of his brother Orlando, Claudio Villas Boas manages to fly 79 survivors out to the Xingu National Park.

Now twenty years later, the Brazilian government has recognized the legitimacy of the Panara's claim to a half million hectare block of their ancestral homeland, and they are going back home.

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