Valley of the Forgotten | Chicago Reader

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72 minutes

Documentary
I couldn't tell who exactly was being forgotten in this documentary about a land battle in the Brazilian Amazon; each aggrieved party seems acutely aware of the others' presence. Director Maria Raduan lets us hear all the disputants—the indigenous Xavante people, squatters, members of the Landless Workers' Movement, property owners, a cowboyish American rancher—but in the resulting cacophony their respective interests and motivations are hard to discern. The most cogently presented history is that of the natives, who were removed in the 1970s to make way for the world's largest cattle ranch. After a measles epidemic struck the relocated tribes, they decided to make their way back to the original land, where they continue their struggle to reassert their claim. In Portuguese with subtitles.

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