3.5/10 A documentary about a disputed, protected area of the Amazon rainforest with the indigenous people and Brazilian farmers fight to control it, “The Territory” covers important topics but remains so one sided and non-cinematic that it falls painfully short. As someone who cares about the environment and this planet that we all call home, paired with producer (and one of my top seven favorite directors of all time) Darren Aronofsky, I was excited to check this movie out and hopefully educate myself along the way. There are several aspects that work well here. At just over an hour and 20 minutes long, the pacing works and won’t take away too much of your time. The topics covered are important and relevant ones dealing with the environment, stealing land from others, adapting to modern times while simultaneously carrying on important, cultural traditions, etc. The movie mixes cinematography from the film makers in addition to some of the indigenous people and we are right in the thick of it all. The best aspect of the movie is the third and final act where we have a possible kidnapping, an unsolved murder and people taking matters into their own hands when the government fails to do their job (surprise, surprise). While the final act will get your heart pumping, the first two acts aren’t nearly as fascinating which brings up to the negatives of this movie. The biggest problem with this documentary is how one sided it is. Even giving the film makers the benefit of the doubt and assuming the indigenous people are 100% in the right since it is their land and criminal farmers, in lock step with corrupt government officials are trying to steal their land, it would have been wise for director Alex Pritz to interview more of the Brazilian farmers, government press secretaries, government officials, etc. to at least get their side of the story and then let the audience decide for themselves. When you only paint one groups’ side of the story, I automatically become suspicious of your motivations and what is being left out, even if the film maker is telling the truth. It is never a good look to only get one side of any story. Another problem is that the first two acts are rather dry and boring. The story is interesting but there is not much cinematic going on to warrant this being a film meant for big screen viewing. This should have debuted on National Geographic’s streaming website. It could remain a movie or be broken up into episodes but either way, this quality is more aligned with streaming than with needing to be seen on the biggest screen possible like “Top Gun: Maverick” for example. While the third act is exciting, all of the build up takes too long to get there so your interest will wane. Since National Geographic put out not only the best documentary of 2021 but one of the best films of last year overall in “The Rescue”, it is hugely disappointing that an important movie like this one falls so short. Watch on streaming if you are super interested in the subject matter but know that you’ll be getting a one sided look at the issues.

#FromAmazonStudios / #GeoGraphicContent / #OneInABrazilianChances / #TheTerrortory / #PuttingOnThePritz / #OnlyYouCanRelentForestFires

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s