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.
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.
August 2008, two small Greek fishing boats broke the naval siege, illegally laid by the state of Israel on Gaza, for the first time after 41 years.
“Gaza We Are Coming” records the historic and risky journey of 44 activists from all over the world, who, by breaking the embargo, proved that history is often made by those that the wise and prudent determinists call “unreal”.
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.