1. "The political pressure strategy of the MST is to
bring together families of country workers in encampments at the side of the
In the case of the inhabitants of the 30 of May Settlement it was no
different. Living in bad conditions and accompanied by their small children,
these families spent about three years camped at the side of various roads and
more than two years in the settlement itself, before building their houses.
It was a difficult period which remains alive in the memory of all."
2. "I have no good memories about the camp. It reminds
me of the hunger that I suffered, and illness.
But I find that it was worthwhile because today we are still here. We have land,
we are studying,we can think about the future. I think that if we needed to
go to another encampment, I think that I would do so again to achieve what my
mother and father have achieved.
This is the patio of the State School of Itapuí, state of Rio Grande
do Sul, where, at the pupils’ own initiative, memories of the camps are
This school is different from the others because it is a settlement school.
Thus, people make every month of October an encampment in the fields of our
school as a symbol of this settlement.
On receiving their plots the landless families have thus got land for planting
but that was not the end of their difficult times."
3. "Charqueadas, state of Rio Grande do Sul.
This is the 30 of May Settlement.
This area of 850 hectares was destined to be a Rural Penal Colony but, in 1990,
49 landless families were settled there.
These families confronted the initial difficulties by forming a cooperative
They did not mark out the various plots. Instead, they turned to working the
land as a collective. After the first two years living in huts, without water,
without light, today they can be proud of the exceptional living conditions
that they have achieved, as evidenced when we look at the children of the settlement.
The older ones study until the end of secondary school; the younger ones can
4. "Everyday those responsible for the workgroups meet
to plan the following day, coordinated by the General Secretariat. There is
one group for the vegetable garden, one for the pigs, one for milking and so
After breakfast, each group heads for its own area in order to carry out the
5. "Every year the families settled in Charqueadas produce
255 thousand litres of milk, 530 tons of rice, 120 tons of corn, apart from
vegetables, eggs and honey. On average, the settlement is responsible for almost
all the agricultural and livestock production of the municipality. Today, in
view of the demand, those settled there are building their own market where
they will sell directly the products of the settlement."
6. "According to INCRA, 4,870,000, hectares have already
been distributed amongst 159,770 families of landless rural workers. There are
still 530 million hectares of land which can be disappropriated for Agrarian
Reform. The successful experiences of Charqueadas and Itapuí show what
men and women are capable of when they have the opportunity to work the land,
produce food and take care of the future with their own hands. For the children
of these families, the times of deprivation are in the past."
The Future of the Land
This film shows the system of social organization and work of the settlements
of Agrarian Reform, more specifically the Settlements of Charqueadas and Itapui,
in the state of Rio Grande do Sul.
In a flashback of montage taken from the works of the internationally renowned
photographer Sebastiao Salgado, dramatic photos, in black and white, unveil
the nightmare daily existence of the Landless in their encampments, built at
the side of the road as a strategy of political pressure. The old photographs
capture unvanishing memories, as in the statement of a child about its experience
of hunger and illness. The bonfire kindled every year in the month of October
in a school commemorates the encampment as a symbol of the struggle for the
Already in the settlements, some of the difficulties remain in those initial
period when the Landless had just been given the land but had not yet built
their dwellings. The collective organization of production and work, the construction
of schools result in relatively exceptional qualities of life and a significant
agricultural and livestock production. New stages include the establishing of
channels of communication with towns and cities close to the camp, aimed also
at the distribution of production.
After showing various components of life in the settlements, followed by a series
of statements containing personal impressions and life stories, mainly on the
part of children, the film ends with statistics on the land still liable to
be disappropriated so that the benefits of Agrarian Reform and of the settlements
might be shared by many citizens, as in the successful example of Charqueadas
The film was produced on the basis of research done by Sinara Sandri, in 1987,
in Porto Alegre, state of Rio Grande do Sul, directed by Werner Schunemann,
with the support of various bodies and trade unions, such as that of the Engineers,
and of CUT (Central Unica dos Trabalhadores).