The Territory (2022)


The Territory Storyline

When a network of Brazilian farmers seizes a protected area of the Amazon rainforest, a young Indigenous leader and his mentor must fight back in defense of the land and an uncontacted group living deep within the forest.

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The Territory Movie Reviews

Checking boxes

The Territory has a good heart, and one can see why foundations and festivals fall for it. Indigenous rights, deforestation, climate change, the producers pulling in (one set of – the agreed-upon, correct set of) subjects as collaborators (to hell with the others). Boxes get checked, an echo chamber is built. What is lost in all that is the need to tell a cohesive, engaging narrative with simply understood facts. Confusion reigns, except that the bad guys are horrible people and the good guys are saints.

So much untold effort and resources go into making a documentary, and watching this it’s hard not to appreciate that. But how about we support actual great filmmaking, not feeding poorly conceived righteous indignation. Good starting point for making the argument: “Darwin’s Nightmare” and “Honeyland,” two masterful documentaries interweaving environmentalism and story.

Fantastic and powerful documentary

About a small tribe protecting their land against invaders. They filmed for years as the political climate changed in Brazil, and the COVID changed the trajectory of their fight. You can see pictures or read about the distraction of the Amazon, but nothing compares to a documentary to give you the full picture. Incredible and moving work from everyone involved. Captures some crazy moments and young people who step up in a time of need. Reminiscent of the American west and manifest destiny, but this time the indigenous are fighting back with more than bows and arrows. They have drones and social media show the world what is happing to theirs.

Impressive Debut from Alex Pritiz about a serious topic, that is filled with tension and brutal realism

Originally premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and is the World Cinema Documentary Competition selection. I originally got tickets for this screening back at the festival but I got to busy at the end of the day to watch this so I skipped it. After finding another festival that had this online, I gave it a second shot.

This is a documentary about a land dispute between Brazilian farmers and the indigenous community. Where the farmers are trying to seize a protected area of the Amazon rainforest. There, a young Indigenous leader and his mentor must fight back in defense of the land and an uncontacted group living deep within the forest. It is very well shot throughout of the documentary and because of the presentation, it really felt more like a cinematic experience then an actual documentary. Some of the best points are that they got to listen both sides without being one sided and allowing interesting conversations to be in play. There are some really terrifying and frustrating moments that helped to make the realism of the situation feel relevant and consistent.

Some problems are the pacing as it did drag a little at times in the second act.

The documentary is 80 something minutes long but it did feel a little more then 80s minutes at times. The musical soundtrack does feels a little cheesy at times but it didn’t ruin the whole experience for me. Besides these small gripes, it’s a pretty good documentary about the deforestation and problems in the Brazilian world and it’s a must watch at least once in a lifetime.

Rating: B.