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It's more than a film, it's a movement.


We Are Guardians is a rich, intimate journey meeting the many people who are living an intricate daily balance in the Amazon basin, one of the world’s most disrupted and threatened regions. We follow Indigenous leader and activist Puyr Tembé and forest guardian Marçal Guajajara as they fight to protect their territories from deforestation, as well as an illegal logger who has no choice but to cut the forest down to feed his family, and a large landowner at the mercy of thousands of invaders and extractive industry. Through intimate, character focused storytelling, the film reveals the many intertwined social and economic issues driving this complicated landscape.


But We Are Guardians take us further, beyond the beautiful rainforest of the Amazon basin, to understand how it is inextricably connected to the entire planet. We explore the science of this incredible world treasure and its critical role in stabilizing our global climate. We see the economic connections to Western free markets that link goods derived in the Amazon region to Western consumers. Most importantly, we experience our own role in this delicate balance that plays out daily before our eyes, and learn from the wisdom of Indigenous cultures who remind us that we are -- all of us -- guardians.


The film is directed by Indigenous activist and filmmaker Edivan Guajajara and environmental filmmakers Chelsea Greene and Rob Grobman, and produced by Academy Award winner Fisher Stevens.

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We Are Guardians Marcal

At Human Rights Watch Film Festival in New York

Sunday, June 4, 2023 8:00 — 10:00pm EDT

New York: Film at Lincoln Center's Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center

Monday, June 5, 2023 6:30 — 8:30pm EDT

New York: IFC Center

Monday, June 5, 2023 12:01am — Sunday, June 11, 2023 2:59am EDT

Digital Screening, available in the US only

Live screenings followed by discussion with filmmaker Edivan Guajajara and Angela Martinez, Amazon Defenders Fund Director at Amazon Watch.


The Amazon Rainforest is crucial to the lives of every human being on Earth. Tropical rainforests cover less than 3 percent of the earth’s surface yet they are essential to climate stability and regulating global rainfall patterns. In 2022 deforestation and fires reached a 15-year high in the Brazilian Amazon. It's imperative the world recognize the importance of the Amazon before it's too late.

Indigenous Territories

Indigenous communities have made the Amazon their home for thousands of years. 45 percent of the intact forests in the Amazon are in Indigenous territories. Nearly 400 distinct Indigenous peoples depend on the Amazon rainforest for their physical and cultural survival. There are over 70 known groups of uncontacted Indigenous peoples still living in the Amazon.

Parrots, biodiversity

The Amazon Rainforest is an unparalleled force of climate stabilization and biodiversity. One-fifth of Earth's flowing freshwater is found in the Amazon basin, one-third of the Earth's species, and one-fourth of modern medicines are derived from Amazonian plants.


In the past 50 years, over 20 percent of the rainforest has been clearcut, and up to 60 percent degraded. Scientists predict that we are dangerously close, if not already crossing an irreversible tipping point. At this point, the forest's hydrological cycle will not be able to sustain itself, creating a dangerous feedback loop of desertification.


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