IFFR – Eami

“Eami” is a sensorial experience about grief and healing. What do we do when we lose what we love? How long does it take for us to be fully healed from the wounds caused by loss? All these questions come from indigenous people who observe deforestation approaching without them being able to do anything to prevent the end of everything they know.

Eami means forest. Forest means home. What should we do when our home is invaded and destroyed, taking everything we love and know with them? Perhaps Paz Encina doesn’t know the answer to these questions, but in doing so, the director builds a complex and full of life work that mixes reality with fiction creating a raw portrait of loss.

The losses in “Eami” are figurative. It’s like everyone’s surrounded by that, whether it’s from the people we love or from the world we know. The film is realistic when it questions how grief transforms our lives and the environment where we live. When a character asks if we are the same after we lose the ones we love, that question lingers in your mind through the rest of the film. Maybe we will never be the same, maybe the world will never go back to what it was before, but just as the characters are trying to move on by leaving the forest, so must we, because life does go on, whether we are ready for it or not.

The deforestation will destroy everything they once knew, and there’s nothing they can do about that. The sensorial aspect of the film and the cinematography helps to connect the viewer with that loss. In some ways, it does feel like healing. The connections they made are felt even if they never share a scene together, it’s like an invisible bond that keeps them together as one person, so when one of them dies, it’s like a part of them died too.

Paz Encina knew exactly what she was doing when she chose this semi documentary approach to the film. Every scene is full of life and there’s not a single artificial moment. These moments are poetic and sublime, as nature and life mix together and become the same thing. It mostly works, but sometimes the film seems a little lost as the narrative starts to become more repetitive and dubious.

After this journey in the intimacy of the indigenous peoples and in their connections with nature, ‘Eami’ ends up becoming much richer narratively than expected, pondering life and death in a very magnificent and poetic way.