DVD The Charcoal People (DVD 11870),
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The Charcoal People

  • NR
  • DVD
  • 1 disc
  • Region 1 USA/CA (info)
  • Thousands of migrant workers, known as Charcoal People, travel the back roads of Brazil year-round to slash and burn the landscape for charcoal. This charcoal is then used in the production of pig iron, which is mainly used in U.S. automotive and construction industries. As foot-long chain links wrap around trees in a sunburnt savannah and rip them out of the ground, a 76-year-old Afro-Brazilian man tells of his life travelling alone, following the chains, the kilns, and the smoke. He "lives for working," and has been in charcoal since he was eleven. He, like the others portrayed here, knows nothing other than charcoal. Another man in the industry, old bricklayer who constructs beautiful, man-sized, igloo-like kilns, laments his illiteracy--an affliction that runs rampant among migrant workers. Most of them were forced to forego education in order to work, although the government now pays parents to send their children to company-run schools.

    As the tree plantations and savannahs are cleared, the Charcoal People pack up their houses and follow the work. Sadly, the best new source for both high-grade iron ore and wood for processing is in the depths of the Amazon Rainforest. While the forests dwindle, what remains is a startlingly beautiful documentary that shows the way the environment is being destroyed by this unforgiving industry that does not even offer its workers hope that they'll be able to sustain a decent life.
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): VF0234

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