Tag Archives: Documentaries

Views: Snowdrops From The Caucasus, Georgia

Khatuna Jakeli loves snowdrops. Not only because they’re pretty, but because they provide her with an income. Every year in April and May, she treks through the Caucasus mountains of Adjara and collects the wildflower bulbs. The bulbs are then sold to the Netherlands, from where they are shipped to flower stores throughout Europe.

The Caucasus delivers 22 million snowdrops to the Netherlands every year, including 15 million wild snowdrops. A lucrative business, from which little remains for Khatuna Jakeli. Yet it is her most important source of income. A report by Juri Rescheto.

Historical Views: Ponte Vecchio In Florence, Italy

The Ponte Vecchio is one of the most iconic bridges in Florence, Italy. It is the oldest bridge in the city (Ponte Vecchio literally translates to “old bridge”), and one of the oldest segmental arch bridges in the world. Since the Middle Ages, the base of the Ponte Vecchio has consisted of three stone arches and two piers.

The stone structure was completed in 1345, and was built over the course of twelve years. It replaced an earlier wooden structure that collapsed in a flood in 1333. Originally, the buildings on the Ponte Vecchio housed apartments and workshops, as well as butcher shops. Later, the business premises were given to goldsmiths and silversmiths, who added several structural changes to the buildings, such as bay windows and balconies.

Travel & Culture: Desert Peoples Of Mauritania (HD)

Mauritania, officially the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, is a sovereign state in Northwest Africa. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Western Sahara to the north and northwest, Algeria to the northeast, Mali to the east and southeast, and Senegal to the southwest.

In human cultures in general, and perhaps particularly in Africa, the landscape is the first shrine of tradition. From the sand dunes of Mauritania to the currents of River Senegal, to the Lions of the Beninese savannah to the spirits of the forests of Gabon, this series explores the origin, the nature and the survival of deep links between several populations in West Africa and their habitat.

Each episode takes us to discover an emblematic landscape: the river (Senegal), the desert (Mauritania), the forest (Gabon) and the savannah (Benin). A compass of escape and meeting which rests on two main pillars: the spectacular character of the places, often classified with the UNESCO world heritage, and the charisma of the main characters who are transmitters of their respective traditions.

Western Africa Cultures: Along The Senegal River

In human cultures in general, and perhaps particularly in Africa, the landscape is the first shrine of tradition. From the sand dunes of Mauritania to the currents of River Senegal, to the Lions of the Beninese savannah to the spirits of the forests of Gabon, this series explores the origin, the nature and the survival of deep links between several populations in West Africa and their habitat.

Each episode takes us to discover an emblematic landscape: the river (Senegal), the desert (Mauritania), the forest (Gabon) and the savannah (Benin). A compass of escape and meeting which rests on two main pillars: the spectacular character of the places, often classified with the UNESCO world heritage, and the charisma of the main characters who are transmitters of their respective traditions.

Analysis: Drinking Water – Is The World Drying Up?

Only 0.3 percent of the Earth’s total water supply is suitable for human consumption. Ominously, this precious resource is beginning to shrink. Natural water reservoirs are drying up due to climate change.

Glaciologist Daniel Farinotti surveys melting glaciers in the Swiss Alps. If glaciers continue to melt at the current rate, he says, there will be no ice left by the end of the century. The disappearance of glacial meltwater would have fatal consequences. From the heights of the Swiss Alpine glaciers, the documentary travels down to the seafloor, off the coast of Malta. Here, the crew of the German expedition ship “Sonne” wants to track down mysterious freshwater deposits in the Mediterranean.

Next up is Peru where, in a bid to counteract the threat of water shortages, work is underway on projects that use ancient Incan methods.

Rainforests: Indigenous People Struggle In Brazil

“They used to kill us with guns, now they kill us with deforestation and dams.” The Brazilian government’s failure to protect the Amazon forest is forcing the Munduruku indigenous people to take action against land grabs and illegal logging – and try to save the rain forest on their own.

In an unprecedented movement led by Chief Juarez Saw Munduruku, for the last six years indigenous people have been fighting the theft and destruction of their forest home. Since 1970, 20% of the Brazilian Amazon has been deforested. Logging and forest fires are threatening a further 20%. Scientists say that at 40% deforestation, we will reach the point of no return. The forest will be lost forever, replaced by savannahs – and the environmental consequences will be catastrophic.

The Amazon is often known as ‘the lungs of the planet,’ producing 6% of the world’s oxygen. It is no secret that the rainforest has been losing a dramatic fight against an array of threats, encouraged by capitalism, consumerism and greed – both legal and illegal.

In today‘s Brazil, some 600,000 square kilometers of land – an area about the size of France — are farmed by farmers who don’t officially own it. The military dictatorship (1964-1985) encouraged them to settle on state-owned land, but the farmers never became legal owners. As a result, speculators now seize the areas, clear the forests, then resell the plots with forged title deeds. This land grab, known as “grilagem” in Portuguese, has led to uncontrolled forest clearing and fierce conflicts.

The documentary was shot from 2014 to 2020, under three different Brazilian governments. It provides deep insights into the drama of the illegal occupation of state land and forest areas by organized crime groups. Several indigenous peoples have united under Juarez Saw Munduruku, leader of the Munduruku people, in a last-ditch bid to save the planet’s most important forest.

Views: Saving The White Rhinos Of South Africa

Poachers kill at least one rhino a day in South Africa. Their horns are in huge demand on the black market, and are worth more than gold. Anti-poaching squads are now increasingly better equipped: with night-vision equipment, drones and thermal imaging cameras.

Covering some 20,000 km2, Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves in Africa. It’s home to the biggest population of white rhinos in South Africa – and also the highest number of rhinos killed by poachers. One major problem for ranger teams is their small size in comparison to the vast area of territory involved. Another is the widespread poverty in the many villagers bordering the park – and it’s here that you ultimately have to begin if you want to win the battle to save the rhinos.

Vince Barkas has 30 years’ experience working in wildlife conservation, and little confidence in the current system’s effectiveness in protecting rhinos. In 1992 he founded the anti-poaching unit “Protrack”. Its teams operate in the Greater Kruger, which includes private wildlife reserves neighboring the national park.

Over the decades he says he’s seen no change, despite rangers being better armed and equipped, and wants to see new options: “We’ve shot poachers, arrested poachers, beaten up poachers. Everything. But we’ve never sat down and spoken.” Vince Barkas believes in the power of dialog rather than violence. He and his son Dylan made their way to Mozambique – where many of the poachers who kill rhinos in the Kruger National Park hail from.

Their journey takes them to the town of Massingir, where Barkas Snr. first began talking to poachers a number of years ago. The problem, he says, is rooted in the very concept of wildlife conservation: “We’ve made wildlife a rich white man’s thing – where white people hunt and benefit from it, and go to lodges etc. And we’ve kept black people out of it – behind a fence. We’ve got to change that approach.”

Hawaiian Views: Hoa ‘Āina O Mākaha Farm, Oahu

EYES OF THE LAND celebrates the spirit of Hoa ‘Āina O Mākaha, an ever-evolving community resource and sanctuary that has become a template for educational farms on O’ahu.

Born in the small village of Uggiate in Italy, and originally serving as a Catholic Priest in the Philipines, Gigi Cocquio helped found HAOM in 1979, nurturing it as executive director and caretaker, alongside his wife Judy, for the past 40+ years.

This film honors the legacy of what has been built, the seeds of hope that have been planted, and the many lives that have been touched.

hoaainaomakaha.org

Directed, Filmed, & Edited by Rob Lau
Story Design by Emily Lau
Aerial Cinematography by Bayly Buck
Additional Aerials by Valen Ahlo
Additional Camera by Valen Ahlo & Oz Go
Additional Footage by ʻŌiwi TV
Sound by Rob Lau & Chris Balidio
Music by Tiny Music “Ask the Right Question” l Peter Sandberg “Dismantle” | Tall Heights “Keeps Me Light Instrumental” | Judah Earl “Dreaming in Color Instrumental”
Archival Photos Courtesy of Gigi Cocquio & Ed Greevy
Special thanks to Jasmine Joy, Judy Seladis-Cocquio, Kelsey Thornberry, Puanani Burgess, & the Hoa ‘Āina Staff

Climate Change: Flooding Rivers Ravage Bangladesh

Bangladesh is struggling just to stay afloat. Literally: By 2050, it’s estimated that climate issues will displace one in seven of the country’s inhabitants.

This film takes the viewer on a journey through Bangladesh, exploring why overflowing rivers flood three-quarters of the country every year. We see how flooding threatens the country’s food security, how soil erosion thrusts thousands into homelessness, and how climate refugees are forced to flee their homes in a desperate act of survival.

Along the way, we meet communities adapting to rising sea climate change by growing food on water. This is a strategy which could prove very useful in the near future, as rising sea levels threaten to inundate 11% of the country’s land in the next 30 years.

This documentary brings us to the front lines of the battle against catastrophic climate change in Bangladesh. It also tells the stories of activists who are bringing the dangers posed by man-made threats to light.

Film Previews: “The Real Charlie Chaplin” (DEC 2021)

Combining unheard audio recordings, dramatic reconstructions and personal archives, The Real Charlie Chaplin traces Charlie Chaplin’s meteoric rise from the slums of Victorian London to the heights of Hollywood superstardom, before his scandalous fall from grace. Watch the premiere on Saturday, December 11 at 8/7c on SHOWTIME.