victor arroyo


A quiet revolution is taking place in the P’urhépecha forest of Michoacan in Mexico. The 2011 P’urhépecha uprising in Cherán battled against illegal logging, narco-cartels, and various forms of extraction. Cherán is the first autonomous Indigenous community with a system of governance built on P’urhépecha traditions, officially recognized by the Mexican state. The Indigenous P’urhépecha are ancestral victims of state power and colonial forms of governance woven with violent disparities of race, class and geography.

Following the tradition of cinema vérité, this documentary respond to the rhythms and textures of lived experience by Indigenous activists in Cherán. Through careful observation of their everyday life, this ethnographic study weaves in various geographies and rural environments, from campesinos and local activists to Indigenous local militia. Lingering between cinema vérité and ethnography, this documentary emphasizes rural space and the forest as sets of relationships, where various P’urhépecha forms of activism distributes in the landscape in ways we may not always see.


Doña Imelda Campos Sebastian
Don Fidel Cucue Turja
Don Jose Merced Velazquez Pañeda
Jesús Ángel Pedroza
Heriberto Campos AKA ‘Diablo’
Salvador Torres Tomás

Produced by POLLO
Sound design by Christian Olsen
Sound post-production by Christian Olsen
Post-production by PRIM
Productions Réalisations Indépendantes de Montréal

Production Support

Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur, Recherche, Science et Technologie
Gouvernement du Québec

Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement Supérieur
Gouvernement du Québec

El Colegio De Michoacan
Centro de Estudios en Geografia Humana

Concordia University
Faculty of Fine Arts

Financial Support

Canada Council for the Arts

Programme Documentaire à Risque

Mitacs Globalink Research Award