Eami (Paz Encina, 2022, 83 min, Paraguay, Spanish, Ayoreo, and Guaraní with English subtitles)
— Introduction by Prof. Christine Folch (Cultural Anthropology)
Weaving together elements of documentary filmmaking and Ayoreo-Totobiegosode mythology, Paz Encina continues her work of remembrance with an intimate and sensorial approach to the recent history of a region that is often overlooked and under-represented: Paraguayan Chaco. Eami not only shows the impacts of deforestation and ecological devastation on the Indigenous tribes who live in Chaco, a place famous for its hard-wood forests and jungle, but also indicates how the Ayoreo-Totobiegosode peoples are able to respond and survive such changes. The word “eami”, meaning both “forest” and “world” in Ayoreo, is also the name of the film’s young protagonist, who navigates a landscape transformed by the violence of extraction. Encina’s complex and dreamlike montage of image and sound earned Eami the prestigious Tiger Award at the International Film Festival in Rotterdam along with numerous prizes in Europe and Latin America.
“[Encina] created a film that plays with rhythms and sensibilities, equal parts nature doc and choral poem, an experimental memory essay that’s also an urgent elegy for a people, a forest, a world.” – Manuel Betancourt