'Watch, Read, Think, Act' is a collaboration between Lighthouse and the stellar team at Take One Action, the UK’s leading global change film festival.
Once a week, starting on Aug 23rd, one of our booksellers releases a new reading list - attached to five of the brilliant, thought-provoking films featured in this year's Take One Action program. Our hope is that, whether you read a book - and it helps you get even more out of the film in question - or a film inspires you to learn more about its themes, communities and places, ultimately these stories will empower you to instigate change alongside others, and do whatever you can do to re-shape the greatest stories around us.
This week, for our fourth innstalment, Jess watched The Last Forest, a journey into the world of the Yanomami people of Brazil's Amazonian forest, directed by Luiz Bolognesi and co-scripted by Yanomami shaman Davi Kopenawa. Here are Jess's thoughts on the film and further reading:
The Last Forest lives through its love for a place, an embodied history and the mythology of that place and its people. As a viewer, the film invites you to learn about all these things with such a rare warmth and grace, bypassing so much voyeurism which documentaries made by a different gaze would fall into. As a Yanomami shaman who also speaks for his people in the primarily white rooms of Brazilian politics, Davi Kopenawa lives between worlds, and its this movement between them which gives the film such a disarming rhythm.
Unsurprisingly, there is incredibly little available writing in English which tells stories of indigenous people in the Amazonian rainforest in their own voice. Looking for them is important for booksellers, because this is how we remind ourselves of the gaps, and the hegemony of - in this case - white European voices writing about the world of others. The Last Forest spreads its canopy wider, however: it exists in the context of the colonisation of Latin America and the genocide of its peoples (see The Open Veins of Latin America), as well as the relationship between indigenous people in other parts of the continent and the oppression and violence perpetrated against them today (see Who Killed Berta Caceres). In this reading list, I've also included a phenomenal novel (Nowhere People) about the encounter between well-meaning but misguided activists and members of the Guarani people in Brazil, as well as the most graceful, heartbreaking collections of journalism I've ever read: the gorgeous Collector of Leftover Souls by Eliane Brun, a Brazilian journalist based in the Amazon forest.
All books are available to order from Lighthouse. Tickets for The Last Forest are available from Take One ActionHERE, where you can read all about the film.
We're so excited to share this collaboration with you - follow the conversation online under #WatchReadThinkAct and stay tuned for the fifth, and last, film in our collaboration!