The Kayapo: Out of the Forest

[the-kayapo-out-of-the-forest--Film-list-image]
©DWS
52 minutes / Colour / 1989
Directed by
Michael Beckham

Anthropologist Terence Turner

Country of production United Kingdom

Series Disappearing World Series

Early in 1989 the Kayapo rallied other Brazilian Indians to attend a reunification of the tribes at Altamira«the proposed site of a massive hydro-electric dam, that will flood large parts of the Xingu valley. The gathering also served as a media event as the Kayapo and their allies demonstrated their case to the assembled international press. The film focuses on the Kayapo's ability to manipulate the media, including Chief Rop-ni stage-managing his entrance to arrive with the pop star Sting. However, much of the power of this film, made for Granada Television's Disappearing World series, comes from the tensions that revolve around the intricate planning behind the Altamira meeting. A Kayapo warrior, Pakayan, brings together previously hostile and warring factions in a common cause. Tension mounts when, only days before the conference, he is rushed to hospital for major surgery, and must force himself from his hospital bed to ensure the survival of the alliance he has carved.

S. Nugent, 1989. Review of the film in Anthropology Today Vol. 5, No. 5, pp. 18–19.

In A. Sutherland (ed.) Face Values. BBC Publications, London. pp. 245–279. ['The Kayapo of Central Brazil' and 'The Social Skin' are written for a general audience, the former dealing with social and political structure and the latter with social values and the cultural constitution of the person (thus touching on many of the same themes as the Jaguar film). For those interested in pushing further with the ideas raised in the Jaguar film, see T. Turner, 1980 `Le Dénicheur d'Oiseaux en Contexte', Anthropologie et Sociétés, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 85–115, and articles by Gustaaf Verswijver.]

T. Turner, 1990. `Visual Media, Cultural Politics, and Anthropological Practice. Some Implications of Recent Uses of Film and Video among the Kayapo of Brazil'. C.V.A. Review, Spring 1990, pp. 8–13. [In this article Turner discusses the context in which The Kayapo and The Kayapo – Out of the Forest were made.]

Language and subtitles English with English Subtitles

Region South America

Country Brazil

Keywords Land Rights Indigenous peoples / First Nations peoples Resistance Film / Photography / Mass media Political Activists Social Conflict