2016 | Brazil, France | Documentary

HÁ TERRA! (There Is Land!)

  • Portuguese English 13 mins
  • Director | Ana Vaz
  • Writer |
  • Producer | Olivier Marboeuf, Cédric Walter

This film is currently not available.   

“Há terra! is an encounter, a hunt, a diachronic tale of looking and becoming. As in a game, as in a chase, the film errs between character and land, land and character, predator and prey.” This is how Ana Vaz describes her 16mm cine-poem. Darting camera movements appear to chase a young maroon girl through the high grass. The present-tense voice-over seems to fuse with the past in the myopia of the long focus lens. The recurrent sound loop of a man shouting “Land! Land!” conjures up the distant memory of colonialism. But the beauty of this collage rests on the impossibility for the spectator to let this past “pass”: soon the current testimony involves a mayor who has taken over by threat the lands of the indigenous people. The young girl being hunted comes to personify a territory. We are in Brazil’s sertão, where the cry “há terra!” (literally: “there is land”) can also be heard as asserting that there is no reason for the landless or have-nots – whose organised Movement is now some forty years old – to be deprived of land. Enigmatic and febrile, the film vibrates with references from Oswald de Andrade’s Cannibalist Manifesto (1928), another source of inspiration for Ana Vaz: “Cannibalism. Absorption of the sacred enemy to transform him into a totem. The human adventure. The earthly goal.” (Charlotte Garson)

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