Fragments of a People

Fragments of a People

In 1983 four members of the Ava-Canoeiro tribe - three women and a man, Iawi - were caught stealing food from a settler in the Serra de Mesa and taken into care by Brazil's Indian Protection Service. They were, it became clear, the survivors of a horrific massacre in their village in 1962. For twenty years the four hid in the mountains, taking refuge in a succession of remote caves. Only one of the women, Tuia, was of child-bearing age, and after a few years she gave birth to twins - a boy and a girl. But unless another group of Ava-Canoeiro, rumored to be out in the scrubland, can be contacted to provide potential mates for the two children, the tribe, descendants of runaway slaves from the once feared Carijo tribe, is doomed to extinction.

The film chronicles the frantic efforts by the Indian Foundation's Department for Unknown Peoples to find the missing group before their ancestral lands are drowned by a massive hydro-electric dam.

'Beautiful and sad film.' (London) Times

'Documentaries do not come better than this.' The (London) Times

'Adrian Cowell's trilogy was 30 years in the making and it's been worth the wait...the denouement plays out like Jacobean tragedy and...is no less gripping.' Time Out

'A powerful documentary series about the Amazonian Indians, may prove to be one of the last records of their way of life.' (London) Independent on Sunday

'The films are about contact and about the destruction and absorption of weaker peoples by more powerful ones, a story perhaps as old as humankind...They focus on the accounts of particular individuals, native and European Brazilian and present us with an extraordinary opportunity to get to know the indigenous people and the drama of their lives in a very personal way....(T)hey are particularly successful in avoiding demonizing the penetrators and their society or of playing on the emotions of the viewer with nostalgia about a soon-to-be-lost native way of life. 'The Last of the Hiding Tribes' are very pragmatic, very human films.' Alan Duben, Human Ecology

'An extraordinary achievement.' The Geographical

Citation

Main credits

Cowell, Adrian (film director)
Cowell, Adrian (commentator)
Rios, Vicente (film director)
Rios, Vicente (director of photography)

Other credits

Cameraman, Vicente Rios; film editor, Peter Spenceley, Caleb Menges; music arranged by Marlui Miranda.


Docuseek2 subjects

Distributor subjects

Amazon
Anthropology
Brazil
Colonialism
Developing World
Forests and Rainforests
Geography
Globalization
History
Human Rights
Humanities
Indigenous Peoples
Latin American Studies

Keywords

Amazon, dam, Brazil, Indians, extinction, tribe, massacre, Ava-Canoeiro, Sydney Possuelo; "Fragments of a People"; Bullfrog Films

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