Nothing but the Sun

  • Arami Ullón
  • Switzerland, Paraguay
  • 2020
  • 75 min
  • World Premiere
  • IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary

Mateo Sobode Chiqueno’s Ayoreo ancestors worshiped the sun, which they saw as a superior and generous being. But for him and his generation, the sun has primarily become a threat, turning deforested areas into dry, dusty plains—filmed here beautifully but ominously.

Some Ayoreo still live in seclusion in the forests of the Chaco in Paraguay. But many more, among them Sobode Chiqueno, were herded into isolated settlements by missionaries, who took their land and forcibly converted them to Christianity.

He started recording Ayoreo conversations, stories, and songs in the 1970s, and is still traveling to Ayoreo communities with his now-antique cassette recorder to interview them and collect their voices for his audio archive. Occasionally the device eats a tape, which he fixes with patient fiddling. The conversations express uncertainty about the loss of identity. Is it a problem that a culture disappears in order to adapt to another?

Credits

  • 75 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Other languages, Spanish
  • Subtitles in: English
Director
Arami Ullón
Production
Pascal Traechslin
Co-production
Arami Ullón Cine
Cinematography
Gabriel Lobos
Editing
Valeria Racioppi, Rebecca Troesch

IDFA history

2020
World Premiere
IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary

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IDFA history

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