Nheengatu - The Language from the Amazon Forest

Nheengatu –The Language from the Amazon Forest
dir. José Barahona/Brasil, Portugal/2020/114 min.
Gdynia Film Centre, sala Morskie Oko
Gdynia Film Centre, sala Morskie Oko

During a trip on the upper Rio Negro, in the deep Amazon forest, the director seeks a language imposed on the Indians by the ancient colonizers. Through Nheengatu, a blend of Portuguese and the indigenous Tupi language, the film reflects the meeting of two worlds. Nheengatu didn't exist before the 16th century, and used to be “a language of the conquerors and now it's the language of resistance” – as the locals put it. Throughout the director’s journey, we meet native inhabitants who discuss their personal tragedies, drinking problems, the current political situation and the role of the Church. We also get a chance to see the world through their perspective, as Barahona reveals footage shot by members of the indigenous communities he encounters with their smartphones.


  • projection time:
    114 min.
  • country/year:
    Brasil, Portugal /2020
  • director:
    José Barahona
  • pictures:
    Mário Franca
  • production:
    Carolina Dias, Fernando Vendrell / Refinaria Filmes
  • awards :
    2020 - DocLisboa, Lisbon (opening film), Festival Caminhos do Cinema Português, Coimbra (Portugal): Best Documentary, CineAmazônia: Best Documentary, São Paulo IFF

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