Machado, upper reach of the Tapajos River, State of Parà, Brazil. 12 December 2006. Hundreds of Mangabal area residents come to the state capital to take part in a public assembly prior to the creation of the mining reserve (resex) Montana Mangabal. Resex is a sort of protection of an area and its inhabitants that attributes to the local population the rights to land use and sustainable exploitation of the natural resources of the forest and the river and constitutes protection against deforestation and illegal exploitation by the Madereiras companies. The public assembly held by the Istituto Brasiliero do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renovàveis (IBAMA) and the Ministerio Pùblico Federal is an event the entire community was waiting for, a festive occasion for a population that views resex as a kind of life insurance. Maria "Dona Santa" Palhares, an elderly blind woman, representing the collective memory of the community, is the beiradeira of the film title. Dona Santa provided Maurìcio Torres, sociologist at the University of Sao Paolo, with the historical background for his study A beiradeira e o grilador, which ultimately led to the establishment of resex.