A visitor from Brazil

Kartemquin recently welcomed Nilson Tuwe Huni Kui, a filmmaker from the indigenous Huni Kui peoples in Brazil, to screen his short documentary Nós e Eles (Us and Them).

His people live in the Kaxinawá land on the Humaitá River in the state of Acre, Brazil on the boarder between Brazil and Peru in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest. They face threats to their way of life from deforestation and the industrial development of the Amazon region, as well an increase in narco-trafficking which has caused the previously isolated indigenous Brabos tribes from neighboring Peru to migrate into Brazil and unknowingly infringe on the indigenous Kaxinawá land.

Nilson studied film at NYU before bringing his skills back to his homeland to create several documentary shorts unveiling the issues his people face. His time in New York was covered in a story by the BBC.

Nilson's excellent film - edited on Final Cut from footage he shot a Sony camera bought in New York, and despite his village having no internet connection - details the complicated interaction between his small village and these even more isolated Brabos tribes, provoking numerous questions around issues of international development and cultural conservation.

As the son of an indigenous leader and the president of the Association of the Indigenous Peoples of the Humaitá River (ASPIRH), Nilson feels the responsibility to continue his father’s work which began to stand against the demarcation of their peoples’ land.

He hopes to continue his education in both film and English. He considers himself a spokesperson and messenger for his people and believes that improving his English will help talk to people around the world about the film’s message.

His visit was organized by Milos Stehlik of Facets Chicago and Kartemquin Associate Judy Hoffman, a film Professor at the University of Chicago.

His film Nós e Eles will be shown as part of the Facets Indigenous Film Festival: Brazil this Friday, June 20 at 7:30 pm at 1517 W. Fullerton Avenue in Chicago.