Berlinale: Programme

Film File

Panorama Dokumente

Ex Pajé

Ex Shaman

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Ever since their first contact with the Western world in 1969 the Paiter Suruí, an indigenous people living in the Amazon basin, have been exposed to sweeping social changes. Smartphones, gas, electricity, medicines, weapons and social media have now replaced their traditional way of life. Illness is a risk for a community increasingly unable to isolate itself from the modernisations brought by white people or the power of the church. Ethnocide threatens to destroy their soul. With dogged persistence, Perpera, a Christianised former shaman, is searching for a way to restore the old vitality to his village.
Luiz Bolognesi’s film sensitively documents how western technology and church-based prayer are subsuming the lives of a people whose world was previously shaped by hunting, harvest and community meals. Unfolding in densely atmospheric images, this film reveals their deep connection to the unpredictable rain forest, from which Perpera draws the strength he needs to resist the encroaching eradication of their cultural identity. His unwavering trust in the supernatural allows him to wander between quiet submission and targeted protection of the existential values that characterise the Paiter Suruí.

Luiz Bolognesi

Brazil 2018

Tupi, Portuguese

Documentary form
81’ · Colour

World premiere


Perpera Suruí
Kabena Cinta Larga
Agamenon Suruí
Kennedy Suruí
Ubiratan Suruí
Mopidmore Suruí
Arildo Gapamé Suruí


Written and Directed by
Luiz Bolognesi
Pedro J. Márquez
Ricardo Farias
Rodrigo Macedo
Sound Design
Armando Torres Jr. ABC, Caio Guerrin, Manon Ribat
Assistant Director
Carolina Fernandes
Production Manager
Flávia Tonalezi
Fabiano Gullane, Caio Gullane, Luiz Bolognesi, Laís Bodanzky


Luiz Bolognesi

Born in São Paulo, Brazil in 1966, he studied social anthropology and, in the 1990s, lived and worked as a teacher in the Pataxó Indigenous community in Bahia. His directing debut, the animated film A Story of Love and Fury, won the Cristal du long métrage at the 2013 Annecy International Animation Film Festival and a Cinema Brazil Grand Prize. His second film, Ex Shaman, screened in the 2018 Panorama. He has made several documentary series and has also won a number of screenwriting awards. His writing work includes the Emmy-nominated series Elis and the screenplay for Just Like Our Parents which screened in the 2017 Panorama.


2013 Uma História de Amor e Fúria (A Story of Love and Fury); animation 2018 Ex Pajé (Ex Shaman); documentary · Guerras do Brasil.doc; series 2021 A Última Floresta (The Last Forest); documentary

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2021

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