The video was made with the help of U.S. missionaries. It has been watched more than 350,000 times on YouTube. The video has its own site, Hakaki.org, which states:
This is the story of Hakani – whose name means "smile" – one of hundreds of children who are targeted for death each year amongst Brazil's 200 plus indigenous tribes. Physical or mental handicaps, being born a twin or triplet or being born out of wedlock – all are considered valid reasons for taking a child's life.In a statement, Survival called the video "fundamentalist," and argued the film is faked, that the earth covering the children’s faces is ‘actually chocolate cake’, and that the film’s claim that infanticide among Brazilian Indians is widespread is false. Survival’s director, Stephen Corry said:
A growing number of indigenous people are rising up to fight this practice. But when they seek help from the government, they are told that their children are not protected by Brazilian or international law, and that preserving culture is more important than saving individual lives.
"People are being taught to hate Indians, even wish them dead. Look at the comments on the Youtube site, things like, ‘So get rid of these native tribes. They suck’, and, ‘Those amazon mother f***ers burrying (sic) little kids, kill them all.’In fact, the film is acknowledged by its creators, Youth with a Mission as fictional, a docudrama, aimed at drawing attention to what he said was a serious problem. Yet the YouTube posting doesn't mention that the film is fictional.
"The film focuses on what they claim happens routinely in Indian communities, but it doesn’t. Amazonian infanticide is rare. When it does happen ... it is the mother’s decision and isn’t taken lightly. It’s made privately and secretly and is often thought shameful, certainly tragic."
Meanwhile, Surival Internation says the film is part of the missionaries' campaign to pressure Brazil to pass a controversial bill, known as "Muwaji's law," which citizens to report anything they feel is "harmful traditional practice" to the authorities.
Watch the "Hakani" video. Warning: indigenous nudity and disturbing imagery.