Gerald Wright's Movie Coverage
The Film Society of Lincoln Center presents an Alaskan take on David and Goliath as its year round Green Screens and Independents Nights program. The Center will present the award winning documentary "RED GOLD" on Tuesday, January 6th. The Green Screens program addresses the vital environmental concerns of global warming, the safety of the food supply, and sustainable living.
The planet's largest remaining sockeye salmon runs are at the headwaters of the Kvichak and Nushagak Rivers in Bristol Bay, Alaska, where mining companies Northern Dynasty and Anglo American want to extract what may be the richest deposits of gold and copper in the world. The film "RED GOLD" addresses specific issues such as the impact of mining on salmon runs and the sustenance of fishermen in Alaska.
Discussions will be held with panelists:
Ben Knight & Travis Rummel, Filmmakers
Lauren Oakes from Trout Unlimited Alaska, Producer and conservationist
Peter Andrew (Yupik native and lifelong Bristol Bay fisherman in film)
Tiffany Jewelry representative
(FOR MORE INFORMATION go to www.filmlinc.com or www.redgoldfilm.com)
Directed by: Ben Knight & Travis Rummel
Running time: 55 minutes
Distributor: Felt Soul Media
Filmmakers Ben Knight and Travis Rummel spent more two months in Bristol Bay, documenting the tension between mine officials who say they can leave the salmon's habitat untouched and local fishermen who oppose any digging. A local issue takes on national implications in this beautiful photographed take on big business's effect on an indigenous way of life, one that will not exist if the salmon don't return with Bristol Bay's tide.
Two mining companies, Northern Dynasty Minerals and Anglo American, are examined in this informative film. The issue of an open-pit and underground mine at the headwaters of the two rivers (Kvichak and Nushagak) is the focus. Various interviews with residents and mining officials open a line of dialogue which seems to be stalled. On one side, the largest deposits of gold and copper in North America (and the second largest in the world) have been found in this region, geologists and miners consider this discovery good for the economy and mining. However, others especially those who live in this region complain that this is a form of rationalizing the mining company's greed. The companies will profit from sales to big business jewelry companies such as Tiffany.
300 million dollars was generated to the economy from the salmon industry in 2005 and residents depend on the revenue as source of income necessary for their survival. Summer sporting fishing generates 60 million dollars. Mining companies reason that by starting operations in so-called deprived areas, they will in turn stimulate the economy by offering mining jobs.
Residents who are interviewed complain that they don't need mining salaries because they live a natural existence. Habitants explain that they live off of the land by hunting moose, fishing salmon and harvesting crops. Natives of this region consider this a tradition and culture that has been a way of life for generations. They conclude that mining destroys the natural order of everything, thus killing their livelihood, and risking their health with pollutants.
The film is brilliantly shot and displays a breathtaking Alaskan landscape while capturing the protest rallies and a strong opposition to the proposed changes in the policies. However, Alaskan politicians led by Governor Sarah Palin voted against the preservation of Bristol Bay. Preserving and restoring North America's coldwater fisheries and watersheds is a necessity to keeping life safe for all living beings. Altering the natural way earth provides for us, is destroying all life globally. This is a must see film for everyone.
FILM RATING (A)