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Hakani: A Survivors Story

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Country  Brazil
Director  David Loren Cunningham
Language  Portuguese
Release date  2008
Hakani: A Survivors Story movie poster

Hakani is a 30 minute movie alleging the occurrence of infanticide in tribal communities in Brazil. It was by ATINI and Youth With A Mission, the directors fathers organization. The Brazilian government officials said "the missionaries are exaggerating and exploiting the issue to justify their attempts to convert Indians to Christianity". In 2009, Survival International released a statement that film is "faked, that the earth covering the childrens faces is actually chocolate cake, and that the films claim that infanticide among Brazilian Indians is widespread is false."

Production team

The movie was an independent production supported by a variety of organizations from Brazil and abroad. Directed by David Loren Cunningham, (The Seeker: The Dark is Rising, After..., The Path to 9/11). Screenwriter, Kevin Miller (No Saints for Sinners, With God On Our Side, Trunk, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, After...).

Most of the docu-drama was shot at Jocum’s campus in the city of Porto Velho.


The film has been challenged by the Brazilian government’s Indian affairs department, FUNAI, which has requested the involvement of Brazil’s federal police in investigating whether the film breaks Brazilian law.

Other high profile critics of the film include Survival International. The organization claims that the film is a tool for evangelical Christian groups to increase their ability to spread religious belief despite the Brazilian governments concerns about their methods. Survival also claims that the issue of Amazonian infanticide has been warped and inflated so people think that baby-killing is common, whereas it says that the practice is rare and mostly comparable to the medical practice of infant euthanasia, which, according to Survival International, is a fact of life in Western society. It is also argued that: "When Brazils Indian tribes are being forced off their land or killed by ranchers, miners and loggers...the infanticide issue is a destructive distraction.". The criticisms above made by Survival International have been refuted by Hakani Project.

In 2009, Sandra Terena, a journalist and documentarist with Indian heritage, decided to search deeper by herself after she watched “Hakani”. She was shocked to realise that her people still was practicing infanticide, and she produced a documentary called “Quebrando o silencio”.


Hakani: A Survivors Story Wikipedia

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