Jul 12, 2017

EP Documentary Screening: Martírio, the Pacific and Obstinate Insurgence of the Guarani-Kaiowá


On 12 July 2017 at 18:30 the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), together with the office of Marisa Matias MEP (GUE/NGL) and the Blue Book Trainees' Solidarity Subcommittee, will organise a second screening of the documentary “Martírio”, this time at the European Parliament. The event aims to raise awareness for the cause of the indigenous Guarani-Kaiowá communities in Mato Grosso do Sul (Brazil). The Guarani-Kaiowá face a continuous struggle for the demarcation of their ancestral lands and for the respect of their basic human rights and dignity. They are cornered by the powerful agribusiness sector, which pushes them off of their lands to produce soy and other crops for export. Recently, two Guarani-Kaiowá leaders came to the European Parliament to speak about their cause and ask the European people for help.

Martírio is the result of years of work of director Vincent Carelli as an anthropologist, indigenous expert and filmmaker. Released in April 2017, it gathers archival and historical footage, new footage of Guarani-Kaiowá representatives, and scenes from hearings in the Brazilian Congress, and it has been awarded prizes in festivals such as the Mar del Plata Film Festival, the São Paulo International Film Festival, and the Brazilian Film Festival of Brasília. The film documents the fight of these communities against the gross violations of their human rights, at the same time that it offers a brilliant image of their culture and history. It is the second part of a trilogy centred around decades of indigenous struggle in Brazil, which started which the documentary “Corumbiara” (2015) and will conclude with “Adeus, Capitão”, presently in production phase.

The Guarani-Kaiowá are an indigenous people living in Mato Grosso do Sul, the Brazilian state with highest incidence of anti-indigenous violence. Intense conflicts between the communities and influential land-owners are ongoing as indigenous ancestral lands are taken to make way for the industrial farming of soy, corn or sugarcane. Resistance is often met with brutal force, and the Guarani-Kaiowá find themselves in a precarious situation, with a high suicide rate and increasing reports of murders, torture and forced disappearances of indigenous leaders. Furthermore, environmental degradation has been causing contamination in the region inhabited by this population, spreading diseases and hindering the right of this group to adequate food.

According to Carelli, who directed the film along with Ernesto de Carvalho and Tatiana Almeida, the current situation of the Guarani-Kaiowá is the most critical in over a hundred years of struggles with the government and the agribusiness. The screening follows a fact-finding mission organized by UNPO in December 2016, the conference at the European Parliament entitled “The Guarani-Kaiowá and the Assault on Indigenous Rights in Brazil” on 30 May 2017, and the first screening of Martirio at the Atelier Marcel Hastir on 31 May 2017.

Registrations for this event have closed. Please send an e-mail to l.vandiermen@unpo.org should you wish to attend.