“Edna”: a prayer for the Amazon

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The soundtrack of the credits can be translated by two onomatopoeias: “cui cui” and “vroum”. They are enough to sum up fifty years of Brazilian history – and of the Earth. In the beginning, there is the forest; then come chainsaws, roads, industrial production, in short this biological desert called progress and characterized by the enrichment of a minority and the impoverishment of others.

Edna Rodriguez de Souza was born in 1950, the seventh child of a family of seven deserted by the father. She experienced the policy of occupation of Amazonian lands carried out in the 1970s by the military dictatorship: deforestation, confiscation of land, opening of roads. She resisted the invader, participated in the Araguaia Guerrilla, was arrested, tortured. She wears the “marks of war” on her body, scars that still torment her today.

At the end of her life, Edna wrote down in a notebook her memories, and the memories of her friends, her parents, all those who are no longer there. In voiceover, like an interior song, she invokes these images from the past that make up the story of her life. These incantations, these conjurations, these obsecrations are said without fear or anger. They make up the habit of those who fell for freedom and equality while their murderers still are. “The brothers and sisters have been killed, tortured to death, imprisoned or reported missing. If they paid for their commitment with their lives, they strengthened the courage of others, ”she says. Or, as a follower of liberation theology: “If Jesus came back, he would want to die. He was the king of our world, not its owner ”. Edna, spokesperson for the largest ZAD on the planet, sees the invisible and through her voice express the ghosts of the Amazon.

Bright yellow

Eryk Rocha takes care of the form of the film full of grace which he devotes to the resistant. The soundtrack participates closely in the narrative, mixing Pentecostal preaching and bovine roaring until gunshots interrupt the pandemonium. The image is black and white, like mourning, but it contains all the colors, those that have been, those that are, those that will be, from the black of the grave to the green of the emerald forest. Finally, Edna opens to color. To get drunk with the dazzling yellow of a flower, to celebrate the magnificent trees being felled and the red of arson. “I dream of going elsewhere. But where? ”Asks the aede of the Amazon again.


Visions of the Real

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