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Brazil, 2012, 88 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Biographical, Environmental, Historical/Period, Social Issues
Program: DocumentaryLanguage: Portuguese English Subtitles
DIRECTOR: Belisario Franca
Producer: Maria Carneiro da CunhaEditor: Yan MottaScreenwriter: Belisario Franca, Biance Lenti, Yan MottaCinematographer: Gustavo Habda
When most residents of a capitalist system hear “Amazon” they probably think of a great website to buy stuff. It is taken for granted that the Amazon yields most of the world’s valuable resources. Roughly the size of Western Europe, the rain forest comprises 20 percent of Earth’s fresh water and provides roughly 20 percent of the planet’s oxygen. So why have industrial nations been trying to exploit it?
Finally the pendulum is swinging back as nations realize that “If you don’t give value to the forest as it stands, it will never stay up.” It is outdated to think that cutting down forests and clearing areas for cattle is ultimately profitable. In Eternal Amazon, scientists, local peoples, politicians, and business owners team up to argue that it is good economics to introduce intelligent innovations that provide renewable resources.
This optimistic documentary counters the horrendous stories we have been inundated with in the last century, spanning the rubber trade to mass deforestation for cattle grazing. It is undeniable in the face of archival 1970s propaganda claiming industrialization is an “urgent necessity” that this is not true. Diversifying the monoculture is the answer. When an infestation nearly annihilated the black-pepper industry, the decision to branch out into cacao and acai harvesting resulted in a more harmonious relationship with the environment, as well as financial benefits.
Eternal Amazon is an analogy for the entire global ecosystem. Exquisite cinematography captures the lush Brazilian geography, reminding us that it is not too late for all of us to turn the 20th-century eco-mess around.
In cooperation with Regis University and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Colorado
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