Nuhu Yãg Mu Yõg Hãm: This Land Is Our Land! follows the Tikmũ’tn indigenous people as they show the destruction of their land and community. While the documentary stalls at times due to its slightly repetitive nature, it remains an important film highlighting an urgent issue for communities like this throughout the world.
Following Yãmīhex: The Women-Spirit (2019), a landmark in Brazilian Indigenous cinema, Isael and Sueli Maxakali have crafted a film that shifts across multiple forms, combining mourning practices, rituals, and chanting, with interviews and observational material to create a study of white violence that reminds us of the urgency of seeing beyond the western gaze—sharing their complex understanding of physical, historical, and mythological space through the film’s form. Farmers in the area may have violently taken their land, but this has not silenced them.
An important film presents a perspective of the harm being carried out on the Tikmũ’tn indigenous people in Brazil. When the indigenous people detail how their people have been killed by white people and just left to be collected, you suddenly feel a tinge in your heart. No one should be treated this way, and the fact that the perpetrators are the ones who came to the country and took the land from not only the Tikmũ’tn people but many others is devastating.
As the film goes on, we see some of the exchanges with the group and the “white people” throughout the area. Each time there is a frosty, almost aggressive tone between the two communities. A bar owner complains about how one from their community steals lamps from him every day. They retort with how their people are being killed often in the town and that that fact should be the more important of the two. This relationship is irreparably damaged. The two do not want to co-exist, and both want the other to leave what they feel is either their rightful land or the land they have earned.
Nuhu Yãg Mu Yõg Hãm: This Land Is Our Land! shines is when it focuses more on the people and their journey to now. To focus on what they are doing to keep going is riveting. We want this community to gain more of their land, have the authorities recognise their struggle, and ensure that the settlers stop taking away their land bit by bit. Yet, the governments seem to care little as fences and signs are moved. Ignorance of their suffering is ever-present, and when the film highlights this, it makes itself more urgent.
Where Nuhu Yãg Mu Yõg Hãm: This Land Is Our Land! begins to stall is when it becomes too repetitive for its own good. However, this could be the point to hammer home how segregated they are and see the pain they have gone through. Yet, it leaves you feeling as if they could have gone into more detail about what they and their ancestors have gone through instead. Regardless this is still an effective film and one that does strike you. Be it from the devastating stories of the Tikmũ’tn people or the horrendous visuals of seeing how their land has been not only taken from them but stripped bare.
To catch more of our reviews throughout Sheff Doc Fest 2021, Have a look below:
Summer of Soul (…Or When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised)
To look at what else the festival has to offer please click here.
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