Mateo Sobode Chiqueno’s Ayoreo ancestors worshiped the sun, which they saw as a superior and generous being. But for him and his generation, the sun has primarily become a threat, turning deforested areas into dry, dusty plains—filmed here beautifully but ominously. Some Ayoreo still live in seclusion in the forests of the Chaco in Paraguay. But many more, among them Sobode Chiqueno, were herded into isolated settlements by missionaries, who took their land and forcibly converted them to Christianity. He started recording Ayoreo conversations, stories, and songs in the 1970s, and is still traveling to Ayoreo communities with his now-antique cassette recorder to interview them and collect their voices for his audio archive. Occasionally the device eats a tape, which he fixes with patient fiddling. The conversations express uncertainty about the loss of identity. Is it a problem that a culture disappears in order to adapt to another?
- Gabriel Lobos
- Valeria Racioppi
- Rebecca Troesch
- FILM REPUBLIC
- CINEWORX GMBH
- ARAMI ULLON
Powerful and moving.
Through a gaze imbued with poetry and respect, drills deep down...in search of the truth which lies beyond words.
My work doesn’t attempt to be spectacular. Instead, it explores depths in the protagonists and their circumstances: through fine details I look for honesty in emotions, allowing social and political aspects to emerge in the background.
Arami Ullón was born in 1978 in Asunción, Paraguay. She produced 18 AND A HALF CIGARETTES (2011), and directed the short film ABSENCE OF AN OWN NAME (1999), which was censored in her country. Her feature documentary debut CLOUDY TIMES (2014) was awarded the Regard Neuf for Best First Film at Visions du Réel (2014) and was the first Paraguayan entry to the Oscars (2016). Her second feature documentary NOTHING BUT THE SUN ( 2020), was the opening film of IDFA 2020. Ullón directs, writes, and produces, working between Switzerland and Paraguay.