A community mired in poverty debates the wisdom of a plan that could create jobs while cutting short their own future in this documentary.
In the town of Esquel in southwestern Argentina, opinions are strongly polarized on the matter of the exploitation of the mine five miles down the road. The mine is a source of silver and gold that the Canadian company Meridian Gold extracts using the poisonous chemical cyanide as well as large quantities of water. Although the mine provides work in a region with 50% unemployment, most locals are far from happy about the company's presence. One man can barely hold back his tears as he talks about how polluted the water has become because of the mining. He concludes that "Gold sustains oppression, hunger, and destruction of the people." Surely this must be true, for why else would there be such poverty in other countries that are rich in natural resources, such as South Africa? Proponents of the mining are naturally more disposed to appreciate the benefits for employment, and a man enters into discussion with a woman collecting signatures opposing the mine, asking, "Who lives better, the rich or the poor?" And of the many people who have their say in the documentary, it is of course the politicians who talk the most about "progress and civilization."