Documentary about Brazilian indigenous leadership the struggle of the Pataxó Hã hã hãe people in their land resumption

08 JAN 2016
08 de Janeiro de 2016
The documentary “RETAKING TO EXIST”: History of Nailton Pataxó Indigenous Leader (Retomar para Existir: A História do Cacique Nailton Pataxó) was directed by indigenous journalist Olinda Muniz Silva Wanderley, 26 years old, Yawar ethnic, born in Bahia and activist in the struggle for indigenous rights.

Released this year the documentary reveals the important walk of fight and resistance of the indigenous leader Nailton Muniz, from the Pataxó Hã hã hãe people also of Tupinambá origin and respected by the indigenous movement throughout the country. His history has been marked by the resumption of the Caramuru-Catarina Paraguassu Indigenous Land in Pau Brasil, Bahia and the difficulties in infancy, but mainly by the overcoming of their people through their traditional lands resumption.

The director revealed how she decided to make a documentary about the history of this indigenous leader.

“When I realized that the history of my people needed to be portrayed from a new angle, above all from an endogenous point of view that could show the way we see ourselves and our own history.”, said Olinda.

Cacique Nailton’s leading role has become more than an example for the indigenous leaderships, along with his strong personality and sagacity he inspires different generations. Witnesses’ statements of his political acting Indians and family, besides the reporting by media companies, show moments of his life in the documentary.

“Many indigenous persons have been killed and even tortured in my community, but it has always been a reason for us to gather more around our common goals, to become even more accustomed to fight and in the end it has always given us strength in our struggle. Like well-said Nailton “We will die fighting but we’ll struggle for what’s ours”, and the ones who died, died fighting for what is ours. Personally I’ve witnessed many conflict situations, I’ve been forced to study some abroad for this, but as for me as for the others it has been a reason to fight even more and today I’m here continuing what I’ve started.” said Olinda.

The Pataxó Hã hã hãe people have always been aimed in prejudicial news in the big media during the process of land resumption, accused from invading properties and without the chance of response to express their version of the facts shown on the television or in the newspapers. A people that besides all the suffering have always overcome the challenges with autonomy and strategy.

“Media companies suit a very clear purpose that is to defend the status quo, the State in a capitalist society and their companies, their elite that sees everybody who doesn’t serve their goals as obstacles for their development, for their predatory use of natural resources, so they treat the Indigenous Peoples through this vision, trying to justify their extermination.”, commented.

The importance for registration of the oral history through an indigenous optics is one of the important points in indigenous audiovisual productions. For Olinda Muniz the difference lies in the endogenous vision of the indigenous people.

“Our clipping of reality has more to do with the way we see things. The importance of it lies in registering ourselves this way. The documentary I made goes from the knowledge of a reality I already overmastered, something I myself participated in my society.”, affirmed.

And left a message for other indigenous communicators and documentary filmmakers: “Document and portray your people from your own point of view, avoiding to pollute in excess with outside visions, even knowing that our job must be accessed by everybody who wants to watch it, read, finally having access. Let us be ourselves and do not back off our identity and way of living to simply please others, let us not display ourselves the way the others want to see us. For a long time we have been portrayed in a way we don’t recognize ourselves, the role of indigenous communicators is to portray their communities in a way we recognize ourselves in these works.”

Yandê Editorial Office by Renata Machado

Translation by Jefferson Costa

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