In popular culture, little is heard or known about native filmmakers, this is probably due to the lack of publicity, or as the result of prejudice. When their stories are told, they are usually misunderstood and portrayed in such a way that it makes it hard not to frame them as if they belonged to a complete different species. In Mexico and other Latin American countries, indigenous people are marginalized, their human rights abused, and discriminated. In Canada and the US they are isolated in reserves, treated as parasites, labelled as lazy, drug addicts, and the such. However, little is shown of the complexity of their culture. It all ends in the muting of their voices .
The film industry, on the other hand, has been monopolized. Hollywood is perhaps the most overrated metropolis of entertainment. The Oscars, the glamour, the money…heavy loads of violence, patriotism, escapism, anti-communism and pro-consumerism, conformism, sexual objectification of women, as well as nihilism. However, people get captivated by it.
So, whenever you feel inspired to watch a movie that does not have extra-glitter and make-up, try with “Wallmapu“.
The 2002 documentary deals with territorial issues affecting the Mapuche community in Chile. It was directed by Jeannette Paillan–who, aside from being a filmmaker, also happens to be a social activist, pioneer in indigenous cinematography, a woman, and a Mapuche. ‘Moving’, ‘informative’, and ‘inspiring’ fall short to define the story Jeannette tells in Wallmapu. .
Unfortunately, the full version is only available in Spanish online. I leave it here in case you speak or understand the language (lucky me it’s my native tongue!).