Dark secrets of poisoned waters in the remote Peruvian Amazon are revealed in AMAZONIA LOT 1-AB (in production) a documentary political thriller where indigenous communities take on Big Oil in California Federal Court. Declassified CIA wires divulge the covert history of an American oil tycoon/ Soviet operative who panders to politicians and makes billions while decimating indigenous peoples and the environment. As oil extraction wreaks havoc on sacred Achuar lands, visionary leader Apu Tomas Maynas spearheads a non-violent campaign to protect the Achuar people’s territory and very their survival. Lot 1-AB, the tribal rainforest-turned-oilfield, becomes the epicenter of an ongoing battle that pits the power of corporations in collusion with governments against the rising voices of native peoples.
Why This Film Matters
Since the early 1970s, ‘Standing Rock’ has been an everyday event in the Amazon where numerous native communities face toxic devastation from oil extraction. Sadly, while the Achuar communities’ predicament is not an anomaly, the fact that they sued one of the U.S.’ s largest energy companies in U.S. Court is indeed a singular story that must be told on film. AMAZONIA LOT 1-AB explores this unprecedented case, and asks how one of the U.S.’s most powerful companies perpetrated decades of environmental and human degradation without accountability. This film shows what happens when things go unchecked, when environmental protections are not enforced, when oil companies operating in foreign lands are not regulated, and when governments deny native peoples their right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent.
Projects of Earth
When the Voyager Golden Record launched into space 40 years ago, oil extraction had already begun in Peru’s Northern Amazon on Lot 1-AB, a 1850-square-mile swath covering four river basins along the Ecuadoran border. It was home to 5 indigenous nations that were neither consulted nor advised about the extractive project on their ancestral lands. For 35 years, oil companies operating on Lot 1-AB knowingly dumped an estimated 12 billion barrels of toxic waste directly into rivers and streams, instigating an environmental state of emergency and health crisis that have yet to be resolved.
Today there are no more fish in the Corrientes River. Ninety-nine percent of the Achuar population has heavy metal blood poisoning. Amazonian indigenous federations have been demanding the remediation of this toxic mess left by four decades of unconscionable crude extraction, the clean up cost of which is an estimated $1bn. Forty years after the Voyager Golden Record’s launch, this film portrays the ongoing battle to defend the earth and indigenous lives in Peru’s Northern Amazon on Lot 1-AB.
AMAZONIA LOT 1-AB puts a face on the human and environmental costs of our fossil fuel addiction. Our demand for Amazon crude is jeopardizing millions of acres of pristine rainforest and indigenous rights and territory. The Western Amazon rainforest as seen in the film, is the world’s most bio-diverse rainforest, home to over 400 distinct indigenous peoples. It’s our planet’s chief carbon sink. Public awareness of the grave consequences of using Amazon crude is crucial to bringing about change.
From the Filmmakers:
At this point we’ve shot some 20-25% of the film’s footage during two shoots in the Amazon, and a few in Lima and Washington DC. We’ve edited a 5-minute trailer, as well as a 10-minute trailer for funders. We’ve transcribed most of our interviews and we’re working on the film’s treatment. To complete this film, we urgently need to get our crew back to Peru and the Amazon. Our goal of $35K would enable us to do the following:
- Travel with crew to Lima, & Achuar communities in the Corrientes River Basin to cover events as they unfold
- Shoot interviews in Los Angeles & US
- License some archival footage
With your support, we hope the film will premiere in 2019.
We are excited to make this film and hope you’ll join us on the thrilling adventure of completing this documentary AMAZONIA LOT 1-AB. Your support is vital to taking our next big step forward. We appreciate you sharing this project on social media with your community. Please join our team of Backers to help make this film a reality. No contribution is too small.
The winner will receive an 11×14 archival print of this photo of a ringed kingfisher overlooking the ancient araucaria forest in Parque Huerquehue in Chile. Ringed kingfishers require large bodies of clean water and dense forest and migrate between the US and Chile.