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The Best Movies on Netflix (2023) 8. The Last Forest


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Year: 2022
Director: Luiz Bolognesi
Rating: NR

 

A 76-minute documentary from director Luiz Bolognesi and co-writer/subject/Yanomami leader Davi Kopenawa, The Last Forest blends gripping mythological reenactments with slice-of-life footage to craft an incisive and insightful look at an Indigenous culture resisting the corrupting—of mind and body, thanks to chemicals and COVID-19—influence of capitalistic greed. In the rainforests of Brazil, the lure of gold still brings out the worst in outsiders. Through arresting shots drenched in green and yellow, then submerged in smoke and sound, Bolognesi sets the scene while Kopenawa tells their stories. Their methods combine to make The Last Forest a rhythmic and liminal protest that’ll easily entrance you with its skillful sensations. But Bolognesi’s technical abilities at capturing motion and process shouldn’t be ignored, despite the film’s sometimes gossamer beauty: Watching a bow draw and loose an arrow, or a kid nestle into a hammocked parent, is artful and satisfying through his lens. In that blend of practicality and abstraction, it truly feels like Bolognesi and Kopenawa let you into their lives—and there’s no better way to build empathy and respect than that.—Jacob Oller

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