The planet is suffering from high fever and its thermometer can be found in Greenland. In this vast land of ice which is now melting at a great speed (248 cubic kilometres of snow each year) all that we hear on the news and read about in the newspapers constitutes the everyday life of its few inhabitants.
The Inuit, better known to us as Eskimos, watch helpless as their life changes dramatically and their Arctic civilization receives what is probably the worst blow in its centuries long, frozen history. Traditionally hunters and fishermen, they watch as their pray disappears and their moving about becomes more and more dangerous due to the fragile ice and the unexpected weather changes.
The creators of this penetrating documentary spent weeks in isolated communities in Greenland, recording the life of the native Inuit. They also present new climate research results, more pessimistic than ever, while uncovering the new and regrettable “el dorado” of oil companies who are preparing to drill for black gold in the planet’s most vulnerable area.
At the Delta of the Niger River in Nigeria, where a vast proportion of the planet's oil is excavated, bomb attacks, abductions and murders form part of the daily routine. The documentary portrays the image of “development”, as giant multinational petroleum companies would define it. Petroleum leaks in the River destroy the flora and fauna, poison the food chain and consequently wipe out the 27 million indigenous people of the area – the Ijaws, the Ogoni and the Itsekiris.
The inhabitants dare to ask the self-evident, they demand an end to it. As a response they are being massively and brutally attacked by special forces of the army and the police, which are armed by the oil companies. On the river the camera meets militia of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta—MEND—and, for the first time, presents to the world shattering images of their speed boat patrols and heavy weaponry.
The Delta of Niger is a lost paradise. As the documentary reveals, it is a place where despite the natural beauty, contemporary “globalized” hell prevails.
Computer parts contain toxic and carcinogenic materials. When our favourite pc stops working, it turns into a dangerous electronic waste which must be recycled following rigid specifications. However, instead of managing their own electronic waste, developed countries find it cheaper to export it to poorer nations. In doing so, they force billions of people to choose between poisoning and poverty, while the planet’s seas, rivers, soil and air are being irreparably contaminated. Up to 50,000,000 tons of our “digital civilization” end up illegally in China. In cemetery cities, computers are cut into pieces, rinsed in acid baths and incinerated by legions of impoverished workers and underage children, who tear these parts to pieces with their bare hands for a dollar a day.
Rosia Montana is a village of 4,000 inhabitants, nestled in a green valley in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania, with a 2000-year-long history. Its underground holds a treasure, namely Europe’s largest gold deposit! There are, on the whole, 240 tons of gold, which the Canadian company Gabriel Resources plans to exploit by constructing Europe’s largest opencast gold mine in the area.
The historically high prices of this precious metal make this investment particularly profitable for the company. On the other side, the Romanian state believes that, during this period of global economic crisis, this project will bring development, workplaces and immediate profits of 4 billion dollars.
Despite all this, there are some determined inhabitants, who have been resisting for years, and who believe that Rosia Montana’s true treasure is not its gold. If the realization of the mine requires the residents’ relocation, the environment’s pollution and the destruction of Rosia Montana’s ancient cultural inheritance, who is the one to decide if all this is worth the sacrifice?
The exploitation of the country’s mineral wealth is projected as the most reasonable solution to deal with the economic crisis that plagues Greece. The Greek state has ceded its mining rights over 31.700 ha of land in northern Halkidiki, a region rich in gold, copper and other metals, to the Canadian multinational company Eldorado Gold. However, many of the region’s inhabitants, who have been resisting the construction of a goldmine for years, claim that this investment will cause irreparable damage to the environment and the benefits will be fewer than the losses.
“Cassandra’s Treasure” presents a detailed picture of the modern Greek state before and during the crisis period.
Can you imagine a water market? A market where owners of water stock would buy and sell, while others would profit on its price without needing it? What would life be like if all of the planet’s water resources, superficial or subterranean, the waters of rivers, lakes and glaciers, belonged to the private sector?
“Life For Sale” examines the biggest water market in the world, set up in Chile. Where the country’s water resources do not belong to the state but to private individuals and one company can own an entire river and possess a quantity of water as big as Belgium. A place where water has turned from a public good of life to property and a “water right” can cost as much as a house. Even in the Atacama desert, which is considered the driest place on the planet, the mining companies – big owners of Chile’s longest river, the Rio Loa – draw immense quantities and use valuable water to wash metals, thus condemning thousands of natives and farmers’ villages to thirst and poverty.
Had you ever imagined that clean air could become an object of commercial exchange? And yet, the ability of plants to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere can today translate into money and produce great profit. A new stock market, the Carbon Market, is already born!
The Arctic Ocean spreads across 14 million square kilometers and conceals 25% of the global oil and natural gas reserves. As the ices melt, bays, marine areas and islands that had been long forgotten suddenly find themselves in the spotlight of the international agenda.
Five arctic states, Russia, Canada, Norway, Denmark and the US, lay claim to a piece of the Arctic Pole and, of course, to the largest share of the treasure. This is a new-age western film on the Wild North, which explores the economic and geostrategic facts of the Great Arctic Game that has just begun.
In the virgin tropical forests of the Amazon, the region with the richest biodiversity in the world, an unspeakable crime has been and is still being committed against humankind. Texaco is accused of dumping 18.5 billion gallons of toxic oil waste into the Ecuadorian Amazonia. Petroecuador, the state oil company, is accused of causing hundreds of oils spills into the jungle.
Ancient native populations are considered invisible and expendable, victims of the oil companies' easy profiteering. They are disappearing on a massive scale, as pollution kills the animals they hunt and causes illnesses until recently unknown to them, such as cancer.
This documentary – the second by Yorgos Avgeropoulos on the same subject, following multi-awarded “Delta – Oil's Dirty Business” – is dedicated to the Tetetes and Sansahuari people. Their voices were silenced forever at the dawn of the 21st century on account of the region's “development”.
When the Spanish conquistadors reached Colombia in the 16th century, they thought they had found the mythical El Dorado. In amazement, they watched a ritual at Lake Guatavita, near modern day Bogota, in which the leader of the Muiscas, naked and coated with gold dust, threw enormous amounts of gold into the water as an offering to the gods.
Five centuries later, with gold prices skyrocketing due to the global economic crisis, this time multinational companies are searching Colombia for the new El Dorado. And they are not alone. Guerrillas, paramilitaries, and drug cartels are all claiming a share of the legendary gold deposits.
Gold rush fever, along with cocaine, fuels the civil war which has been raging in the country for over 40 years. It is an invisible form of collateral damage inflicted by the economic turbulence engulfing the planet.
At a time when Europe is going through a crisis that is not solely economical but also a crisis of moral values, millions of European citizens demand a response to a crucial question: is water for the European Union a commercial product or a human right? Until today, the European Institutions have not given a clear answer. The EU has still to recognize water as a human right, as the UN did in 2010.
At the same time, cities, regions and countries all around the world are increasingly rejecting the water privatization model they had adopted for years and are remunicipalizing services in order to take back public control over water and sanitation management. In Europe, the majority of the cases have been recorded in France, home of the most powerful and influential private water multinational companies of the planet. Nine cases have been recorded in Germany.
Although Berlin and Paris have recently taken back public control over their water services, the financial and political European elites are demanding from Greece, Portugal and Ireland to privatize their public water systems. Provisions about water can be found in every M.o.U, Greece, Ireland and Portugal have signed with the Troika and it’s a common stipulation provided in every bailout agreement signed between the debt-ridden countries and their lenders.
Up To The Last Drop follows the money and the corporate interests during a period of four years in thirteen cities of six EU countries. It’s a documentary film about water that reflects contemporary European values and the quality of the current European democracy.
Scientists consider Bangladesh to be the point zero of climate change. As the ice melts, the sea level is rising and this South Asian coastal country is sinking. It is estimated that, by the year 2050, approximately 20 million people will have abandoned their homes in Bangladesh, becoming climate refugees. This is a new and almost unknown term which describes, however, the emergence of the true face of climate change. According to predictions, by the year 2050 more than 250 million people from all over the world will have become climate refugees and will be crossing their countries’ borders. Now scientists warn of consequences not even comparable to the nuclear threat, with the world becoming a constant warzone where no one will live in peace…