Mata is a very timely documentary about the loss of species diversity, climate change and the struggle of indigenous peoples and small farmers to preserve and defend the land on which they live.
MATA means both forest and to kill. MATA depicts the landscape in the southernmost part of the state of Bahia on the east coast of Brazil, which has changed drastically in a short time. Once upon a time, the Atlantic forest stood here, with a diversity in line with the Amazon, but now it has been reduced to small islands. There is no continuous forest left. What remains is a landscape consisting of a single species, one that does not belong naturally here: eucalyptus. Endless rows, slightly fluttering, without making a sound.
Both the farmers who work nearby and the indigenous people who have always lived in the area notice the changes on the body. Where has the groundwater gone? What has happened to the soil? Where once there was bustling life, the earth is now lifeless.