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.
Dário Vitório Kopenawa Yanomami
Dario Kopenawa is the son of Davi who accompanies him on his travels and is ready to take over his task as international campaigner. He studied in Boa Vista, where he still lives with his family and which is the home base of their non-profit Hutukara.
Tuira Kopenawa Yanomami
Tuira Kopenawa is the daughter of Davi. She studied in Boa Vista and recently got her certificate as a nurse. She helps her people face the disastrous health situation and often translates for the sick Yanomami and their families who don't speak Portugues
Maurício Tomé Rocha
Maurício Tomé Rocha is a Yekuana, another Indigenous tribe living on the Yanomami Territory on the border with Venezuela and particularly touched by illegal gold mining. They are fighting together with the Yanomami and are therefore part of Hutukara.
Pieter Van Eecke
Pieter Van Eecke is a Belgian filmmaker and climate activist based in Brussels. HOLDING UP THE SKY is his second feature film. It premiered at FIFDH 2023 and is to be theatrically released in Belgium and the Netherlands.
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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 edit: Sabrina Calmels
Re-recording mix: Emmanuel de Boissieu
Partners for impact & distribution
Blue Bird Docs, Hutukara Yanomami Association, Survival International, Oxfam Belgium, 11.11.11, CNCD-11.11.11, Greenpeace Belgium, Dalton Distribution, Cinema Delicatessen