Awka Liwen (in Mapuche Rebellion at Dawn) is the story of the campaigns against the indigenous population in Argentina, beginning with the so-called "Desert Campaigns" after Independence. The film draws a line between the expropriation of the 30 million hectares land of the indigenous population in the 19th century and the justification of these acts, because "civilization had to be protected before barbarianism".
Awka Liwen is also the story about racism that exists still today in the Argentine society, primarily against the natives and their descendents, the Gauchos. It is somehow a continuation of the vision of the colonial regime and becomes most clearly visible in the slum areas of the big cities, in which most of the inhabitants are indigenous migrants from the rural areas. And the film also talks about the distribution of wealth in Argentina, where around 10 % of the population own about 80 % of the land, while the rest, the majority, are minifundists.
Today, in the same way as during the campaigns on the American continent one hundred years ago, the "border of agriculture" is shifted towards jungles and forests, in the search for natural resources or for the agricultural production. In order to prevent the indigenous and tribal peoples before forced re-locations from their territories, the ILO Convention 169 determines that they have to be consulted before. Nevertheless, in many cases, this does not happen. For this reason it is not surprising, that the Human Development Report of the United Nations Development Program has already pointed out in 2004 the relation between forced re-locations of the indigenous communities and mining.
Argentina started reconciliation about the 30,000 missed in the last military dictatorship under Jorge Videla. But the genocide at the natives is so far concealed. This taboo should be broken. Australia and Canada said sorry in 2008. Now it's time for Argentina.
The film is no compressed and depressing case of information. It is humorous and gives at the same time space for thinking and for enjoying. Colour-glad sequences are brought in again and again, with the beauty of humans and nature in the widths of Argentina. The military campaigns are illustrated by impressive animations and the speaker, Osvaldo Bayer, leads us through the film like a wise professor, pleasantly and precisely, sometimes however relentlessly directly. After the film we know, that today is the day on which we want to begin with our contribution to protect human rights worldwide.