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International Programme 2014
Marmato Mark Grieco

In the Colombian village of Marmato international corporations are fighting for the gold in the mountain and the locals for their existence. A globalisation thriller with strong characters.


Documentary Film
88 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Stuart Reid, Mark Grieco
Mark Grieco
Todd Boekelheide
Mark Grieco
Ricardo Acosta, Mark Grieco
Noah Conti
Mark Grieco, Stuart Reid
Bob Edwards
Every day Dumar says goodbye to his wife and kids in a long ceremony of kisses and blessings as if it was the last time. Equipped with the spiritual protection of his family and the religious protection of the statue of a Jesus with outstretched arms that looks over the green mountains of Colombia from the town of Marmato, he enters the gold mine. For over 500 years, the locals have been digging and blasting narrow tunnels into a mountain that threatens to collapse any minute. But the miners have nothing but gold, even though they are the ones who profit least from it. There has been an international gold rush going on here since the government opened the gates to foreign corporations in 2006. It’s to be the end of the ancient methods. A Canadian company wants to strip-mine the mountain, allegedly in a socially and ecologically sustainable manner. But what will become of Marmato? The battle for one of the biggest gold deposits in the world has begun.
Mark Grieco followed the complex disputes surrounding the exploitation of the mountain, the existence and identity of the natives for six years in a film that has already garnered a number of awards. As tightly plotted as a suspense novel – and with fairly novelistic characters – he tells a tale of growing resistance against globalisation. The current gold rate, burned into the tunnel walls, delivers the comment on the various situations and an old balladeer in a cowboy hat picks his ironic songs on his guitar.
Lars Meyer