“There has to be hope. There’s no other option”: Alex Pritz on The Territory
Alex Pritz’s The Territory follows the political, legal and sometimes violent battle for titular Amazonian territory. Utilising Brazilian human rights and environmental activist Neidihna Bandeira as a window into the everyday experiences of the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau tribe (whose population and territory have drastically dwindled since initial contact was made by the Brazilian government in 1980), the documentary demystifying the nature of life in the Amazon. More than this, however, The filmmaker is concerned with the indigenous people’s fight for survival – a fight made all the more burdensome by the election of Jair Bolsonaro in 2018, the year production on the film began.
Prtiz sets his film apart from other socially conscious assessments of the future of the Amazon and its declining population by taking a multifaceted approach to this story of growing urgency. The inclusion as central subjects of the very farmers and settlers who put the existence of the likes of the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau tribe at risk (a suggestion from Bandeira during early meetings to discuss the direction of the film) gives the film a maturity and rounded sensibility, while its cinematic texture paints the Amazon in a light that sensorily illustrates its worth as something to protect.
The Upcoming had the pleasure of speaking to Pritz in an extensive interview, covering, among other points of discussion, his experience of coming into contact with the film’s numerous subjects, its stylistic sensibilities and his broader take on the future of environmental activism.
The Territory is released in select cinemas on 2nd September 2022. Read our review of The Territory here.
Watch the trailer for The Territory here: