Podtalk: Gabriel Uchida, Txai Surui on the Amazon in ‘The Territory’

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CHICAGO – The Amazon Rainforest, in the country of Brazil in South America, is often called the heartbeat of the world. Its ecosystem is a regulator for climate and nature, and it’s currently being threatened by development. This story is told in “The Territory,” represented by Gabriel Uchida (producer) and Txai Surui (Executive Producer).

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

“The Territory” is a shorthand for what is at stake in that part of the world. Not only are farmers and other “property” structures infiltrating the Amazon, but the indigenous native people (the Uru-eu-wau-wau tribe) – who have occupied the rainforest for generations – are dwindling and being forced out. The country of Brazil are coercing their laws onto the law of nature and tribal survival, and this “heartbeat of the world” is being slowly co-opted for the commercialization of human greed. It’s also up to the Uru-eu-wau-wau to save their land, against a tide of genocide and destruction that mirrors the “manifest destiny” of the U.S. against their indigenous people.

Gabriel Uchida and Txai Surui (inset) of ‘The Territory’
Photo credit: National Geographic Documentary Films

This is presented by National Geographic Documentary Films, directed with passion by Alex Pritz (USA), and tells its story through the Uru-eu-wau-wau. It was during the COVID period that director Pritz taught the tribe to use camera equipment, and they are credited as co-cinematographers. The film is eye opening and frightening in the parallels between the authoritarian interlopers in government that both Brazil and the U.S. are currently experiencing. The big blue ball of dirt called THE EARTH is losing its heartbeat, and will we preside over its death?

Producer Gabriel Uchida is a Brazilian journalist and visual artist with over a decade of experience working on global stories. In 2016, he decided to move to the Amazon and focus his work on environmental and Indigenous issues. Executive Producer Txai Suruí is a 24-year-old Indigenous activist from the Amazon. She was born on the frontlines of the rainforest and raised by a family of warriors. She got the world’s attention after a powerful speech for international leaders during COP26 (Conference of the Parties, United Nations Climate Change Conference).

In a Podtalk with Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com, Gabriel Uchida and Txai Surui (through translation) of “The Territory” spoke passionately for all of us …

”The Territory” opens in theaters on August 19 through National Geographic Documentary Films. Directed by Alex Pritz. Rated “PG

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Editor and Film Writer

© 2022 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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