In a forest of gigantic trees, six-year-old Oquirá challenges her destiny. In doing so, she learns more about the traditions of her people and her place in the cycle of life.
Way of Giants (Caminho dos Gigantes) is a wordless short film by São Paulo, Brazil-based, Peruvian-born writer and director Alois Di Leo. The original music is by Tito La Rosa.
The imagined tribe is rooted within research about many Indigenous cultures including, Di Leo explains, “the Incas, Amazonian tribes, and the Korowai from New Guinea, who actually live in tree houses and depend on the trees to survive.”
Plus, an illuminating detail from Sinlogo Animation: “In Tupi-Guarani, the name Oquirá means ‘new leaf.’
The 2016 film won more than two dozen honors, including awards from the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival and the Prêmio Brasil de Cinema Infantil. Alois Di Leo continues, via translation:
“In the tribe, the children, they build musical instruments that they must hand to an older member of the tribe. And in a way, this represents the cycle of life…”
“Our story is a difficult one. It is a journey into accepting the inevitable, accepting death. It is made even harder by the fact that there is no spoken language in the film. So all the actions and emotions had to be perfectly choreographed and storyboarded, making sure the story was being told with enough clarity.”
Note: Sensitive viewers might find the story’s climax a bit intense, starting from around the 9-minute mark.
Watch these related videos next:
• Le silence sous l’écorce (The Silence Beneath the Bark)
• Duck, Death and the Tulip
• Father and Daughter by Michaël Dudok De Wit
• One Small Step, an Oscar-nominated animated short
• Premier Automne by Je Regarde
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