People endangered by destruction of the Amazon share their story in new documentary

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-“Remove your sandals, because the ground on which you are standing is holy ground.”

The Amazon forest and its inhabitants have long been victims of exploitation, deforestation and gold mining, drawing the attention of the international community and the Catholic Church.

Inspired by the Amazon Synod organized by the Vatican in 2019, filmmaker Alessandro Galassi set out to understand the reality of the indigenous communities most affected by outsiders' greed. The result is his new documentary: “Anamei: The Guardians of the Forest.”

Director, “Anamei: The Guardians of the Forest”
“Anamei is the tree of salvation. Anamei is the tree that will save the forest when it is being burned down. This is the legend, the myth of the Harakbut community, an indigenous community in the Peruvian Amazon, in the Madre de Dios region. But it's a myth that concerns everyone.”

-“When humanity is going through the catastrophe, that tree will come.”

The documentary is narrated by Yésica, a leader of the Harakbut community. She spoke to Pope Francis on behalf of her people in 2018, when the Pope visited Puerto Maldonado, in Peru.

January 19, 2018
“We ask you to defend us. Outsiders see us as weak and insist on taking away our land in different ways. If they succeed in taking our lands, we risk disappearing.”

Director, “Anamei: The Guardians of the Forest”
“Yésica narrates the story. She is the protagonist of my documentary. She's a bilingual teacher, a leader of the Harakbut community. One of the many indigenous leaders who fight. And many of them are killed, they tell us. One way she fights is by telling her story, which is the story of Anamei.”

Behind that story is the message that the way we treat the environment has an impact on countless others. It's a message that makes “Anamei” a call to action for all people, not just a select few.

Director, “Anamei: Guardians of the Forest”
“My hope is that this documentary will be a tool to understand what integral ecology is, that it doesn't simply mean not making plastic, but changing the very paradigm, our relationship with Mother Earth. And we don't need to travel to the Amazon to change that relationship with Mother Earth.”

“Anamei: The Guardians of the Forest” captures the magnificence of the Amazon, its suffering and the indomitable spirit of the people who defend it.


MG / Alessandro Galassi

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