Opening in theatres this week from director Brian Lilla, Three Peaks Pictures and First Run Features is a look at lives being changed by “Patagonia Rising”.

This documentary film calls into question a dam being built in Patagonia, Chile. A land of people who raise animals, have their own small businesses and a way of life that is being threatened.

Five large hydroelectric dams being built by the HidroAysen company are under question as environmentalists and renewable energy experts go head to head on what is best for the area. From the ice in the mountains to the sediments found in the constantly flowing river that feeds the ocean, dams are not considered sustainable.

In fact what these dams are doing according to many is destroying the natural life of the river, which also affect the animals and people who live on the rivers banks.

FINAL WORD: The land shown in the documentary is beautiful and the flow of the river is stunning. Of the people who live in these areas many do not want the dams. In fact they do not feel there is anyone speaking on their behalf. HidroAysen says, of course, that there are programs in place for relocation, compensation and want to be fair to the people whose lives they disrupt.

After listening to what has happened to previous peoples who gave in to HidroAysen, I would be one of the first to cry “foul!” The concerns of the families who have lived their lives on this land and raised their families need to be heard before a culture disappears.

The environmentalists have made it clear that the ecosystem of Patagonia will be impacted by the disruption. HidroAysen truly believes that the benefits outweigh the impact on the environment (which in this reviewers opinion is disgusting) – I actually see now why the people believe no one is speaking for them.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give “Patagonia Rising” four tubs of popcorn out of five. It is alarming that a company would have so much power as to wipe out a culture without batting an eye. It is obvious that those involved in building these dams have no conscience about the impact on the environment, the people or the eco-system of Patagonia.

The film has won awards by the Yosemite Film Festival, Festival Cine Otro, Certamen de Cine de Viajes del Ocejon and critical acclaim from the Newport Beach International Film Festival, San Francisco Documentary Film Festival, Wild & Scenic Film Festival, Pacific Rim Film Festival and the Three Rivers Film Festival. Read more at www.patagoniarising.com

The land is amazing and the views are stunning, and in the natural flow of the stream lay a culture that lives and breathes these surroundings. There is no compensation for that HidroAysen – none!

In the end – it is a global conflict over water and power.

Movie Maven

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About the Author

Jeri Jacquin

Jeri Jacquin covers film, television, DVD/Bluray releases, celebrity interviews, festivals and all things entertainment.


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