The Territory

The Territory FL, 2022, 4 stars

Territorial rights and wrongs

Exclusive to MeierMovies, March 22, 2022

For a doc to go right, something often needs to go wrong. In the case of The Territory, the revelatory film from director Alex Pritz (in his solo feature debut) and co-producer Darren Aronofsky, that something is death. But even without that tragedy, the movie might still be the best documentary of 2022 so far.

Fewer than 200 members of the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau (or Jupaú) tribe remain in Brazil’s rainforest region of Rondonia, and this is their story, told against the backdrop of a divisive presidential election, deforestation, murder, COVID-19 and a tenuous future for these Indigenous people. Yet, refreshingly, Pritz remains on the sidelines, allowing his ever-present but objective camera to tell the tale of not just the tribe and a conservationist fighting for their rights but also the settlers and farmers (both legal and illegal) who are threatening the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau and the ecology of the entire Amazon basin. The Territory is Harlan County U.S.A. for Indigenous Brazilians.

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This capsule review is part of my coverage of the 2022 Florida Film Festival. For more information about the event and an index of reviews of other festival films, go here. For more information on this movie, visit IMDB.