10am Marmato – 88 min – SID
Director: Mark Gieco
If Colombia is the focal point of the new global gold rush, then Marmato, a mining town with over 500 years of mining history, is the new frontier. Gold, estimated to be worth 20 billion dollars, is being mined in traditional ways by the locals who risk their lives daily in return for modest salaries from local businessmen. When the Colombian government opens the mining industry to foreign investment in 2006, hopes are high for more lucrative employment. It doesn’t take long for disillusionment to set in as a Canadian company, Medoro, promptly buys up 88% of the mines in the area and initiates an allegedly “eco-friendly” open-pit mining scheme that entails mass relocation of homes and, eventually, extensive layoffs. Filmed over six years, Marmato is a beautifully shot portrait of the lives of some of the miners who confront and defy Medoro.