Film "Belo Monte: After the Flood"
Der Filmemacher Todd Southgate bei der Arbeit in der Volta Grande do Xingu. Foto: Christian Russau
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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.