Climate and habitat change might be a political discussion point for most of us but for those living within the canopies of the rainforests of South America it’s a daily reality. While most conversations about the environment focus on future states, many communities are being decimated by deforestation and global warming. Indeed, while pledges have been made on this issue, they do little to help those currently trying to eke out a living from the land. Destroying their homes, not to mention food and water supplies.

The Ayoreo-Totobiegosode people call the forest the ‘eami’. They use the same word to describe the ‘world’, making no distinction between them. To the last isolated group outside of the Amazon, their natural environment is all they know. How will they react when their lifestyle is under attack and faced with a difficult choice? Paraguayan director Paz Encina travelled to Chaco and immersed herself in their mythology, culture and society. The result is EAMI.

EAMI is an almost hallucinatory experience, mixing the story of a little girl called Eami with the sights and sounds of the rainforest. It’s a documentary which will either beguile or bemuse, depending on your perspective. Whatever your outlook, it’s easy to lose yourself within the rhythms of nature. Indeed, it’s this soundscape which really immerses you into EAMI’s tale. A mix of allegorical parable and cautionary bedtime story.

EAMI screens at International Film Festival Rotterdam.

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