India is known as the global medicine production factory. It has a thriving pharmaceutical industry that produces quality medicine at affordable prices.
These are the so called generics, copies of the original drugs produced by the big pharmaceutical companies of the West. They are equally effective, but are sold at incomparably lower prices than the originals. That is why they are of incalculable value to poor people in India and the, so called, developed world.
In the face of competition, the big pharmaceutical companies fight back holding a powerful weapon in their hands, the patents, attempting to strike India’s generic drug industry and consolidate their monopoly worldwide.
It is a real war of interests, where corporate profits are, more literally than ever, juxtaposed to human lives.
The “© Life Copyright” follows the case of the Swiss company Novartis that sued the Indian state, starting thus a landmark legal battle. A battle so important that could threaten the access of billions of poor people around the world to affordable lifesaving drugs.
It has been called the “Rebellion of Dignity”. The spark that was set off by the self-immolation of a 26-year-old in a Tunisian provincial town spread like fire in the entire country. The cry of the Tunisians who demanded freedom and fought for their right to work shook the entire world and gave, once again, a historic role to optimism. Ben Ali, the once almighty dictator, fled the country and his corrupt regime was unmasked. The first revolution of the 21st century is a fact and the Arab world will never be the same again.
“29 Days” goes back to the beginning, to the roots of the “Arab spring”. Through the soul-stirring testimonies of those who were in the middle of it and the rich archive that they salvaged from the period of the uprising, the documentary presents the chronicle of the 29 days that changed the course of history.
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.
In July 2011, a great wave of famine ravages the Horn of Africa. Over 13 million people are threatened with starvation. Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia are in the center of a terrible humanitarian crisis and the United Nations plead with the international community for immediate food aid for the affected regions.
Once again, starvation spreads death through Africa. For decades now, our screens are being inundated with images of emaciated Africans and always, the so called developed countries are sending help. But, what is done incorrectly and the Black Continent is still starving? “Charity, Diplomacy and Business” is filmed on location in Kenya and the United States, the two ends of this humanitarian thread, and it investigates into the not so altruistic aspects of a system that traps the poor states of Africa in a vicious circle of dependency and hunger.
Since 2003 Arab paramilitaries known as “Janjaweed”, along with the Sudanese army, have been regularly conducting raids against revolted African tribes in the Darfur province, in the west part of Sudan. So far more than 2.2 million people have been dislocated from their villages and have become refugees and more than 300.000 people have been murdered. Yorgos Avgeropoulos records – in some cases “legally”, in others “illegally” – death and persecution in the context of a relentless civil war. A war that began in the form of a small scale conflict over some land and water, as a consequence of climate change. “Aided” by the country's dictator, President Bashir, it has turned out to be one of the most savage of today's wars; a tragedy that, while unfolding right before the eyes of the international community, seems to be well hidden behind the desert dust…
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.
One afternoon in 1975, in a garage in Caracas, Venezuela, the then 36-year-old music professor and economist José Antonio Abreu began a crusade that seemed completely utopian. He wanted to save as many children as possible from poverty, the streets and criminality, by teaching them free of charge classical music and making them members of a classical Symphony Orchestra.
“There was nothing like the first rehearsal”, reminisces the 74-year old conductor today. “It is the moment I remember with the greatest passion. The rest was a great everyday thrill.”
Only 11 children came to that first rehearsal. But the seed had already been planted in the ground, giving birth to what would later become globally known as EL SISTEMA (The System). An education system and at the same time a weapon against poverty. A tool for social change. An attempt to change the world through music!