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Why is the Ecuadorian government proposing to extract oil in an area frequently classified by ecologists as one of the most bio-diverse rainforest regions left intact on earth?

This documentary was filmed in Sani Isla and Ecuador’s capital city, Quito. It gives voice to an indigenous community in the Ecuadorian Amazon. To break the bond with the forest that has sustained their people for generations would be the death of their culture and community. Their resolve is tested in the face of corruption, bribery and greed as well as oil companies and the military threatening to take over the land by force.

At first glance it might appear that the community is just another victim of big oil’s need to feed ‘our’ collective habit. But a more complex story emerges: China taking over the role of the IMF and World Bank funding overseas development in return for oil; well-meaning but under resourced and ultimately failing, local government and worldwide initiatives; the international community turning a blind eye; blatant denial of indigenous rights; as well as the desires of the community themselves, to develop in line with modern expectations.

Biologists classify this region as one of the most bio-diverse regions on the planet. To extract oil in what we all know as ‘the lungs of the earth’ for 8 days worth of oil (at current rates of world consumption) would bring this particular ecosystem to the brink of collapse. In a globalised world of mass consumption run on fossil fuels, could we all play in a part in the destruction of this pristine rainforest? If so, ‘Where do you draw the line?’


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