Film Archive

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International Programme 2015
The Nation That Didn't Wait For God Lucia Murat, Rodrigo Hinrichsen

The Kadiweu in Mato Grosso in Brazil once acted in a film. Taking stock after the arrival of television, alcohol, the church, white people. A lost paradise.

The Nation That Didn't Wait For God

Documentary Film
Brazil,
Portugal
2015
89 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Lucia Murat, Paulo Trancoso
Lucia Murat, Rodrigo Hinrichsen
Livio Tragtenberg
Leonardo Bittencourt
Mair Tavares, Lucas Cesário
Lucia Murat
Branko Neskov
The opening sequence alone, which links the past and the present like a time tunnel, confirms Lucia Murat as one of the great storytellers of Brazilian cinema. In 1999 she shot a feature film in the Kadiweu reservation in Mato Grosso. 13 years later she returns to follow up on the lives of several protagonists who played small parts at the time. The contrast between the earlier images and those recorded recently reveals the Kadiweu’s problems: electrification brought television sets, then alcohol and the Protestant church. How can tradition, language and identity be preserved when the young people move to the cities? When the ministers object to the old traditions? When white cattle farmers settle illegally on the territory of the indigenous population? The film is an associative and narrative investigation into these issues, managing again and again to measure the distance that separates the Kadiweu from their past by small events and details – the Day of the Dead, the explanation of a name. They used to be a warrior people who fought on horseback. Today they wash their Japanese motorcycles in the river and negotiate land rights with lawyers. And still remain Kadiweu. This at least is the defiant statement of this amazing film’s final shot.

Matthias Heeder