The suicides of two girls belonging to the Guarani-Kaiowà native Brazilians push the tribe to take drastic measures. Lead by the chief Nadio and the shaman they start a quiet rebellion by leaving the reservation and returning home to their native habitat. They camp by a field belonging to a wealthy plantation owner, and every day more people join them. The owner is determined to make them leave, and the conflict escalates. At the same time we experience how both sides observe each other and especially how the young people in these two different worlds are drawn to one another. The tension between “them” and “us” is a driving force throughout the movie.
BIRDWATCHERS is an important film that explores the idea of what would happen if native Brazilians chose to move back to their own land. It’s a powerful story that shows the grim reality of so many native people today. The film was in the programme at TIFF 2009, but in today’s political climate its topics are more relevant than ever.