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Film: Eami


Christine Folch

Dir. by Paz Encina. Paraguay. 2022. 83 min. Spanish, Ayoreo, Guaraní with English subtitles. Introduction by Prof. Christine Folch. Eami means "forest" in Ayoreo. It also means "world." The indigenous Ayoreo-Totobiegosode people do not make a distinction: the trees, animals, and plants that have surrounded them for centuries are all that they know. They now live in an area experiencing the fastest deforestation on the planet. Paraguayan director Paz Encina travelled to Chaco for this film. She immersed herself in Ayoreo-Totobiegosode mythology, and listened to heartrending stories about how the people are being chased off their land. This is a magical-realist film about a little girl called Eami. After her village is destroyed and her community disintegrates, Eami wanders the rainforest. She is the bird-god - she explains in the poetic voice-over, in her own language - looking for whomever may be left. Eami is an indictment; yet, perhaps even more, it is an attempt to record something that will be lost. "Remember everything," says the lizard/old man who accompanies Eami on her journey. "Once we leave, we can never come back."


Central America focus, Ethics, Featured, Global, Human Rights, Humanities, Movie/Film, Religious/Spiritual, South America focus