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Holding Up The Sky


Davi Kopenawa Yanomami

In the 1990s, Davi Kopenawa took on the task of defending the Yanomami against an unprecedented invasion of gold prospectors. In 1992, thanks to international support, they succeeded in demarcating the largest indigenous area in the world.



Wilma bos
Robbert van Vliet
Valerie Del Re

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If the shamans stop dancing and life in the rainforest loses its balance, the sky will fall and crush everything beneath it. This wisdom is passed on in the Brazilian Amazon by every generation of Yanomami. But gold diggers pollute the rivers, shamans die, the rainforest perishes and the earth warms up.

Davi Kopenawa, shaman, chief and famous spokesperson for the cause of the Yanomami people of Brazil, has been fighting colonization since the 1970s. While the Yanomami territory was demarcated since the 90s, the habitat of the Amazonian people is now threatened more than ever. The shaman must once again travel the world to make Westerners aware of the inevitable fate that their way of life will lead to: the collapse of the sky, which the Yanomami have preserved for millennia. Do the Whites understand that the fall from the sky will not only crush the Yanomami?

HOLDING UP THE SKY takes us alongside this ferryman, into the skies and the forest that protect his people, and into the places that threaten them.


Directed by: Pieter Van Eecke

Written by: Pieter Van Eecke, Davi Kopenawa Yanomami, Dário Vitório Kopenawa Yanomami

Produced by: Hanne Phlypo - Clin d'oeil films (BE)

Co-produced by: Hasse van Nunen & Renko Douze - Een van de jongens (NL)
Sergio Andrade - Rio Taruma Films (BR)

Cinematography: Johan Legraie

Composer: David Poltrock

Editing: Dieter Diependaele

Sound recordists: 
Félix Blume
Taco Drijfhout
Frederico França
Nicolas Joly

Sound edit: Sabrina Calmels
Re-recording mix: Emmanuel de Boissieu

Partners for impact & distribution

Blue Bird Docs, Hutukara Yanomami AssociationSurvival International, Oxfam Belgium, 11.11.11, CNCD-11.11.11, Greenpeace Belgium, Dalton Distribution, Cinema Delicatessen