A film by António Cascais
Commissioned by NDR and ARTE.
A small village in the Portuguese region "Trás-os-Montes" ("Behind the Mountains") is fighting against a seemingly overpowering opponent: the lithium lobby. The largest deposits of the coveted raw material are believed to be in the region. Gold-digger sentiment arises. But the inhabitants of the region fear the destruction of their homeland.
Trás-os-Montes, in the extreme northeast of Portugal, is a paradise on earth: hilly mountainous countryside with a unique nature, streams and rivers with crystal clear water: a centuries-old cultural landscape recognized by the UN with a small farming population.
But for several months now, the total of 150 inhabitants of the village of Covas do Barroso have been watching in horror as their paradise is transformed into a "hell on earth" by a multinational lithium mining consortium called "Savannah Ressources," based in London: Huge trucks and excavators descend on the villages and drill holes in the earth. Whole rocks are blasted away with dynamite: prospecting work.
The inhabitants fear the loss of their home, the poisoning of the water, dust pollution, the end of paradise. The reportage accompanies the seemingly hopeless struggle of the villagers against the lithium consortium and for the preservation of their homeland - an unequal fight - David against Goliath.
Editor: Kathrin Bronnert
February 12, 2020, 7:40 p.m., ARTE
February 13, 2020, 12:15 p.m., ARTE
THURN FILM, an independent production company for documentary films,
was founded in 2003 by Valentin Thurn.