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 made his directing debut with the animated film Uma História de Amor e Fúria which won the Cristal du long métrage at the 2013 Annecy International Animated Film Festival. Ex Pajé is his second feature film. He is also an award-winning screenwriter whose work includes the script for Como Nossos Pais which screened in the 2017 Berlinale Panorama.


2013 Uma História de Amor e Fúria (A Story of Love and Fury) 2018 Ex Pajé (Ex Shaman)

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2018

Produced by

Buriti Filmes

World sales

Upside Distribution