We are thrilled to announce the November 2016 launch of “Belo Monte: After the Flood” 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 indigenous leaders, activists and local residents, “Belo Monte: After the Flood” illustrates how this multi-billion dollar mega-project has left a disastrous legacy of broken promises and socio-environmental damage, and shattered livelihoods among local communities of the Xingu.
Narrated by Emmy award-winning Hollywood actor Peter Coyote, the documentary chronicles the inspiring work of indigenous peoples, grassroots activists, and their allies to prevent dam construction and its many impacts. It exposes the gross disregard for the rule of law that marked the entire project, including a massive corruption scandal involving high-level politicians and construction companies. And it shows the unfulfilled promises for bringing “progress” to this remote Amazonian region.
Though Belo Monte’s first turbines became operational in 2016, “Belo Monte: After the Flood” also highlights that the struggle for justice and accountability for crimes committed by dam builders continues, and that the Amazon faces more dam threats similar to Belo Monte.
On a neighboring tributary to the Xingu River, resistance is growing to stop the Brazilian government’s plan to dam the Tapajós River, home to the Munduruku, an Indigenous group that has relied on this river and its basin since time immemorial.
We’re very excited about the potential for this new documentary to raise public awareness and promote debate on this critical issue, and will make sure that it is widely distributed, free of charge.