Belo Monte: After the Flood is a new film directed by award-winning environmental documentarian Todd Southgate, and produced with International Rivers, Amazon Watch and Cultures of Resistance.
The film explores the history and consequences of one of the world’s most controversial dam projects, built on the Xingu River in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon.
Todd has traveled to the Amazon a dozen times over the course of seven years to document the conflicts surrounding the Belo Monte Hydroelectric project, and in early March he returned to the region as the dam’s construction neared completion.
Through interviews with local residents, environmental and social activists and indigenous peoples,Belo Monte: After the Flood tells a horrific tale of shattered lives, government maleficence, and, in the case of the Juruna people, an indigenous community living just a stone’s throw from the dam, a charge of ethnocide by public prosecutors.
While Belo Monte’s first turbine was tested early in 2016, Belo Monte: After the Flood explores how the multi-billion dollar project has generated controversy for the last 30 years as successive Brazilian governments ignored protests, broken promises, and neglected mitigation measures, leading to irreparable damage to communities and livelihoods.
Now that the Xingu River is dammed and Belo Monte has begun to generate its first watts of electricity, controversy surrounding this project has only grown as allegations and charges of corruption and kickbacks involving dozens of prominent politicians continue to emerge.
Nonetheless, the government has plans to build even more dams in the Amazon including on the Tapajós River, another major tributary to the Amazon River located in the Brazilian state of Pará.
Belo Monte: After the Flood concludes with hopeful images from the fight of the Munduruku people, currently fighting to stop the government from repeating the Belo Monte mistake by building a dam on the Tapajos and flooding a significant amount of their territory.
As resistance against dams in the Amazon grows so does the hope that the Amazon’s rivers will continue to flow unobstructed, and the cultures that depend on these rivers remain unharmed.
Since 1985, International Rivers has been at the heart of the global struggle to protect rivers and the rights of communities that depend on them.
We work with an international network of dam-affected people, grassroots organizations, environmentalists, human rights advocates and others who are committed to stopping destructive river projects and promoting better options.
We seek a world where healthy rivers and the rights of local communities are valued and protected. We envision a world where water and energy needs are met without degrading nature or increasing poverty, and where people have the right to participate in decisions that affect their lives.
Based in four continents, our staff has expertise in big dams, energy and water policy, climate change, and international financial institutions. We support partner organizations and dam-affected people by providing advice, training and technical assistance, and advocating on their behalf with governments, banks, companies and international agencies. The focus of our work is in Latin America, Asia and Africa.
Amazon Watch is a nonprofit organization founded in 1996 to protect the rainforest and advance the rights of indigenous peoples in the Amazon Basin. We partner with indigenous and environmental organizations in campaigns for human rights, corporate accountability and the preservation of the Amazon’s ecological systems.
We envision a world that honors and values cultural and biological diversity and the critical contribution of tropical rainforests to our planet’s life support system. We believe that indigenous self-determination is paramount, and see that indigenous knowledge, cultures and traditional practices contribute greatly to sustainable and equitable stewardship of the Earth. We strive for a world in which governments, corporations and civil society respect the collective rights of indigenous peoples to free, prior and informed consent over any activity affecting their territories and resources. We commit, in the spirit of partnership and mutual respect, to support our indigenous allies in their efforts to protect life, land, and culture in accordance with their aspirations and needs.
This is a not-for-profit film produced with help from a number of people and groups. Please get to know those who helped make this film happen, and those who continually fight for a better world for everyone.
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