The Maxakali (Tikmū’ūn), a small group of indigenous people in Brazil, were once free to hunt. But then the white people came, cut down the trees, made the rivers dry up, and drove away the animals. The trees are gone, but the songs have remained. Through their yãmĩyxop spirits, they learned the stories and songs of their ancestors who lived here for so long.
The filmmakers, two of whom are Maxakali themselves, have made a highly personal, first-hand report. They show their struggle in the state of Minas Gerais, where their existence is threatened by agribusiness and landowners who have driven them from their land. The government has always completely ignored them and villagers look down on them.
This moving and strikingly free-form film takes us on a journey to the places that are of great significance to the community. Some are the scene of tragedy, as many have been murdered and no arrests have ever been made. The film’s urgency is highlighted when one Maxakali proclaims militantly, “Are we not on earth to speak for ourselves? We exist!”