In the film that takes its name from the community where he was born, filmmaker Divino Tserewahú looks back at newsreels that show the first systematic contact of the Xavante with non-indigenous people, in the 1940s. In this footage, their traditional territory is described as the “Wild West”, and its inhabitants, “the angriest Indians in Brazil”.
These images were produced by the SPI during the March to the West, implemented by the Getúlio Vargas government in 1943, accompanied by the discourse that it was necessary to occupy the country’s interior. Many of the communities encountered along the route that the expeditions took were displaced or decimated.
While the newsreel celebrates this contact as a triumph of civilization, Divino describes it as the surrendering of his people. The film shows the resistance of the Xavante in the following decades and the strength of their culture today.