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La buena vida –
The Good Life
A documentary by Jens Schanze, 97 min., Germany/Switzerland 2015
Jairo Fuentes is the young leader of Tamaquito, a village in the forests of Colombia. Here, nature provides the people with everything they need. For centuries, the Wayúu have hunted in the mountains, foraged for fruit and reared their animals.
But the Wayúu community’s way of life is being destroyed by the vast El Cerrejón coal mine. Every day, the pit gets deeper, gnawing away at the unspoilt landscape. The coal from El Cerrejón feeds power stations around the world, which generate the electricity to keep our lives fast-paced, bright and warm.
Determined to save his community from forced displacement, Jairo Fuentes sets out to negotiate with the mine’s operators who are backed by powerful companies such as Glencore, Anglo American and BHP Billiton. The villagers are promised the blessings of progress, but the Wayúu place no value on modern, electrified houses – on the so-called better life.
Instead, they embark on a fight to save their life in the forest, which soon becomes a fight to survive.
Production: Mascha Film, Munich, & soap factory GmbH, Basel
Writer, director: Jens Schanze
Original version in Spanish, Wayùu, English and German, with English, German, Spanish and French subtitles, DCP, 97 min.
World rights: Mascha Film & soap factory GmbH
World sales: MAGNETFILM GmbH
Distribution Switzerland: cineworx
Distribution Germany and Austria: Camino Filmverleih GmbH