Visions du Réel Review: The Last Forest

A Yanomami

The Amazon Rainforest is a vital carbon sink and plays a key role in slowing down climate change across the world. According to the World Wildlife Federation (WWF), over 43 million hectares of forest cover has been lost between 2004 and 2017. This rate has accelerated since the Jair Bolsonaro came to power in Brazil at the beginning of 2019. He has actively worked to remove protections, not just for flora and fauna but also indigenous populations

The Yanomami peoples inhabited the rainforests before Brazil and Venezuela were even countries and are the largest (relatively) isolated tribe in South America. Their homeland is currently under threat from illegal gold mining and the authorities, under the new regime, now turn a blind eye. This encroachment impacts on hunting grounds, water supply, natural habitats and brings disease which these outsiders spread. The Last Forest documents the struggle to resist this incursion.

The Last Forest mixes fantasy with reality to take the viewer on a poetic journey into the heart of the canopy. Luiz Bolognesi’s film intertwines traditional myths and legends with co-writer, shaman and local chief Davi Kopenawa’s struggle to preserve the lands for generations to come. All set to the backdrop of the beautiful verdant rainforest. The Last Forest uses the sights and the sounds of the Amazon as a backdrop to a stoic tale of resistance.

The Last Forest screens at Visions du Réel.

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