Truka: In the Name of the Enchanteds (2013) – By Brian Morton

I love documentaries, it’s a great way to learn about something that you might not have any clue about, from people who are extremely passionate about the subject…it’s just a cool learning experience. Well, a new short doc from Swedish filmmaker Thomas Toivonnen, Truka: In the Name of the Enchanteds, takes us to Brazil, where a small tribe of people are desperately fighting for their existence.

The Truka are a tribe that lives on the Sao Francisco river, a river that’s being blocked by the government for use in other parts of the country. It’s interesting to see the tribal people talking about how they live and how they are keeping their customs and traditions alive, but I felt like something was missing.

Truka: In the Name of the Enchanteds shows us the Truka perspective of the story, but never explains totally what’s being done about the problem. There’s an implication that there’s a ‘fight’ going on, and the Truka see themselves as warriors, but there’s never a hint of violence in the short doc. I’m assuming that, so far, the protests have been peaceful, but we never see the other side of the story. In their defense, there is a brief scene where the filmmakers attempt to get on the construction site to get some footage, but are turned away. But they’re not turned away in a ham-fisted or violent manner, in fact, the workers seem to understand what’s going on, but are at a loss of what else can be done.

I’m giving Truka: In the Name of the Enchanteds, 3 out of 4 cigars, it’s an interesting doc that feels about half done to me, it might be because the story is still evolving, but I’d be interested to see how this all ends up. You can find out more, and see the short yourself, by heading over to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Xc1RGPBXW8.