Ser Tão Velho Cerrado (The Old Savanna Hinterland), a documentary directed by André D’Elia and distributed by O2 Play, is premiering today August 9, and it has been well-received by the critics.

This documentary is being distributed by O2Play and tells the story of the residents of Chapada dos Veadeiros who, worried about the end of the savanna in the state of Goiás, have sought alternatives to the region’s development. The elaboration of a management plan requires the reconciliation of, and dialogue between, the apparently incompatible interests of the scientific community, family farmers, large landowners, and environmentalists.

Look at this review by Alexandre Agabiti Fernandez on the Folha de São Paulo website:


This courageous documentary by André D’Elia denounces the devastation of the savanna

Lacking artistic concerns, Ser Tão Velho Cerrado (The Old Savanna Hinterland) considers itself to be an instrument of combat

Scene from the documentary The Old Savanna Hinterland – Promotional Photo

Alexandre Agabiti Fernandez


When: Premieres this Thursday, August 9

Classification: Free

Production: Brazil 2018

Direction: Andre D’Elia

See the cinemas and show times

When the press talks about the destruction of nature, the focus is generally on the Amazon. However, the most devastated biome in Brazil is the savanna. This documentary by the writer and director Andre D’Elia – an advocate of environmental causes, as can be seen in the feature films The Water Law (2015) and Belo Monte – A Declaration of War (2012) – seeks to make the public aware of the predicament of the Brazilian savanna which is well on the way to extinction.

The first part presents the savanna, the oldest biome on the planet, which is 40 million years old. Biologists, agronomists, residents and environmentalists show the relevance of this biome which is made up of hundreds of species of plants and animals that only exist there; their pharmacological and food potential, which is little known in other regions; and its importance to the survival of the other biomes that surround it, because it captures the water that is the source of most of the country’s watersheds.

Indiscriminate deforestation, the use of pesticides banned in the rest of the world, the extinction of fauna and flora, the contamination of rivers, desertification, and other evils are firmly denounced. The narrative then moves to the area of policy. Large landowners are interviewed and their arguments are so weak it’s embarrassing.

Agribusiness only benefits large landowners and doesn’t generate employment or wealth for this region. In fact, it does quite the opposite. This model the film contrasts with family farming which keeps the population in the country, produces better quality food, and respects the environment.

The actor Juliano Cazaré and actress Valeria Pontes constantly offer information that broadens our perspective. The best moments are when they offer arguments that undermine the statements of the large landholders and their profit driven logic.

This devastation is permitted by the new Forest Code, which leads to the film’s efforts to support the Law of the Savanna, even though more information about this battle is not offered.

In parallel, it shows the intense discussions surrounding the plans to manage the Environmental Protection Area of Pouso Alto, Goias, and the expansion of the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park in the same state, highlighting the resistance of the ranchers who set fire to a quarter of the reserve in retaliation for this expansion.

Using direct language, without artistic or formal pretensions, the film considers itself to be an instrument of combat. It is redundant sometimes – with the images just serving to illustrate a statement – and uses a didactic approach that is a little excessive and unnecessary at times, with an irritating fragmentation of the presentation with its voluminous precious information, and an insistence on treating the beauty of the fauna and flora as postcards. But all of this is of little importance given the catastrophe that this film reveals with courage.