Children of the Amazon
Children of the Amazon follows Brazilian filmmaker Denise Zmekhol as she travels a modern highway deep into the Amazon in search of the Indigenous Surui and Negarote children she photographed fifteen years ago. Part road movie, part time travel, her journey tells the story of what happened to life in the largest forest on Earth when a road was built straight through its heart.
For countless generations, the Amazon rainforest provided a home to the Surui and Negarote people who lived in what they called “forest time”— utterly beyond the realm of contemporary human life. Their only contact with the “outside” world was through rubber tappers, who first settled the forest in the 19th century and whose work did no harm to the trees.
And then . . . everything changed. Footpaths gave way to a road and then a highway cutting through 2000 miles of forest. With the coming of this connection to the rest of Brazil, the world of “forest time” was overrun by farmers, loggers, and cattle ranchers. Lush forest was clear-cut and burned, deadly diseases killed off thousands of Indians, and “forest time” suffered an irreversible transformation.