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.
“Plain Old Greed”, Exandas new documentary film, is an “economic thriller” or, rather, a social horror movie which is timelier than ever. Through the saddening stories of those who lose their homes because of the savage bank raid emerges the famous “housing crisis” which torments the US economy and causes huge damage at a global level. However, what is more important is the unveiling of the logic of modern globalized economy and its “secret mechanisms”. In other words, the money market's new way of making money… out of thin air!
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.
Have you ever asked yourself where does the fish you eat come from? If you had, you would be controlling a huge pirate industry which commits a crime in your dish! The ever-rising demand for fish in the international market has driven European and Asian fishing fleets towards the coasts of West Africa. Hundreds of industrial pirate ships are fishing illegally in the territorial waters of the nations of the area, devastating all forms of life in the ocean and condemning millions of Africans to poverty and hunger. “Stealing from the Poor” was filmed in Senegal, where pirate fishing perpetrated by huge industrial vessels belonging to developed countries is depriving the inhabitants of this West African country of their main source of subsistence.
In December 2001, in Buenos Aires, great crowds of people are heading towards the historic square Plaza de Mayo. Argentina, once amongst the richest economies in the world, has gone bankrupt. The government has resigned and Argentina's president, Fernando de la Rua, flees from the presidential residency in a helicopter, amidst a storm of enraged people clashing with the police, breaking banks, looting super markets and shouting “Out with the lot of them!” The 2001 social explosion marked the end of a neoliberal economic model which lasted 10 years and left a toll of 35 deaths (murdered by the police and the private guards of the banks), 30,000 collateral damages (suicides, heart and brain attacks) and approximately 20,000,000 (over half the population) submerged in poverty and misery.
Almost 10 years later, the Greek documentary filmmaker Yorgos Avgeropoulos, who had been working in Argentina in 2001-2002 during the crisis, returns for a new autopsy of the country's economy and political and social situation.
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”.
For almost two decades, Ireland had been a global model of neoliberal development. A test lab to legitimize its application, with the country's cheap and specialized labor force as the guinea pig. The government, banks and constructors were intoxicated by the nectar of money, dragging along with them the reflexes of the entire social tissue. The “Celtic Tiger”, as the Irish economy was named, was openhandedly promising prosperity to a society that has historically suffered from poverty, immigration and unemployment. And it was doing just fine, as it seemed!
However, after years of impressive growth rates, the country has suddenly and roughly landed in the arms of the European support mechanism and the IMF. It now finds itself in the same position as Greece and Portugal, albeit for different reasons which, nevertheless, caused the same result: from being at the top, a true model to be followed, Ireland suddenly woke up on the brink of bankruptcy.
In 2008, Iceland was confronted with an unprecedented economic disaster. The country's three banks collapsed, dragging with them to ruin the country's whole social, economic and political life.
Four years later, in 2012, Iceland has begun to show signs of recovery. Unemployment rates are declining and growth rates have reached approximately a 2,5%. However, in order to reach this positive outcome, some quite unorthodox methods were implemented. The measures taken were completely different from what the E.U. and the IMF enforce on member states of the Eurozone that suffer from the effects of the recession. Many times, these handlings brought Iceland up against the International Community and the markets. Nowadays, even the IMF admits that the different methods used in handling the crisis in Iceland have come into fruition. How did the Vikings' descendants achieve these results?