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August 1, 2021

The Falling Sky

By Margarita Mora

"The forest is alive. It can only die if the white people persist in destroying it. If they succeed, the rivers will disappear underground, the soil will crumble, the trees will shrivel up, and the stones will crack in the heat. The dried-up earth will become empty and silent. The xapiri spirits who come down from the mountains to play on their mirrors in the forest will escape far away. Their shaman fathers will no longer be able to call them and make them dance to protect us. They will be powerless to repel the epidemic fumes which devour us. They will no longer be able to hold back the evil beings who will turn the forest to chaos. We will die one after the other, the white people as well as us. All the shamans will finally perish. Then, if none of them survive to hold it up, the sky will fall."

— Davi Kopenawa

Davi Kopenawa, a Yanomami Indigenous leader and shaman from the Brazilian Amazon, and French anthropologist Bruce Albert, worked together for 30 years before publishing The Falling Sky. This book is a first-person account of Davi Kopenawa’s life story and cosmo-ecological thought. In 2020, Aruac Filmes joined forces with Davi and Bruce to produce a film about the book.

Currently the film is in post-production stage. Mostly spoken in Yanomami, the film puts into direct debate aspects of the Indigenous and non-Indigenous world, bringing a forceful reflection on the model of widespread predation of peoples and the planet invented by those Davi calls "people of merchandise," namely the whites.

Nia Tero decided to support the production of this film due to the deep involvement of Davi Kopenawa, Hatukara Association (a Yanomami Association) and Yanomami creatives throughout the production process. We believe that the entire world needs to listen to Davi’s message.

If you are interested in learning more about this film, we at Nia Tero would be happy to connect you to the Aruac Filmes team.