English and Spanish with English subtitles, 2014, 87 minutes, color, Colombia
Every day in Marmato, a shimmering Colombian mountain town, families pray for safety as their men walk out their doors and down into the mines, scratching out a living with little more than shovels and outdated sulphur lamps. Beneath their village lies one of the largest gold reserves on the planet. In 2006, the Colombian government invited foreign investment to the region to stimulate economic growth, unleashing a corporate gold rush. As plans progress to destroy residents’ homes and level the beautiful mountaintop for an open-pit mine, Marmato charts the mounting crisis as the local community struggles to protect its way of life and economic sovereignty.
In a documentary spanning six years, filmmaker Mark Grieco’s acutely perceptive camera captures the villagers’ multiple survival tactics as a family man turns to mining illegally, an elderly mine owner waits to sell to outsiders for the right price, and an activist leads increasingly tense protests. The result is a gripping, breathtaking, intimate portrait of resistance and a community bravely teetering on the precipice of change.
Director: Mark Grieco
Producers: Stuart Reid, Mark Grieco
Executive Producer: Mark Achbar
Cinematographer: Mark Grieco
Editors: Ricardo Acosta, Mark Grieco
Composer: Todd Boekelheide
Sound Design: Bob Edwards