“In the past, when white people didn’t exist, we used to hunt with our yãmĩyxop spirits. The whites came, cut down the trees, dried up the rivers and scared the animals away. Today, our tall trees are over, the whites surrounded us and our lands are tiny. But our yãmĩyxop are very strong and taught us the stories and chants from our ancients who walked around here.” Isael Maxakali and Sueli Maxakali are Indigenous leaders, educators, artists and filmmakers of the Brazilian Tikmũ’ũn people. Their work embodies their people’s traditional practices and fight for land. In This is Our Land, the Maxatalis and their collaborators combine multiple forms of filmmaking to create a personal film rooted in Indigenous tradition of the Tikmũ’ũn. The film acknowledges their Indigenous practices through the documentation of ritual, mythology and collective history, combined with interview and observational cinema that exposes the continued colonial violence that threatens their existence. From within the Indigenous gaze, the Tikmũ’ũn confront the exploitation of their land and demand justice for their people.
Now in our 22nd year, Planet in Focus is an environmental media arts organization with year-round programming. Our mandate is to produce cultural events that showcase engaging and artistic films that question, explore and tell stories about the world in which we live. We use film as a catalyst for public awareness, discussion and engagement on a broad range of environmental issues.