Dirty paradise

  • Dirty paradise
Genre : Social
Type : Documentary
Original title :
Principal country concerned : Column : Cinema/tv
Year of production : 2009
Format : Feature
Running time : 72 (in minutes)

Intrigued by a book read in childhood, and its photos of Amerindians, Swiss filmmaker Daniel Schweizer sets off to research the Wayanas, a tribe in French Guyana on the border with Surinam who are threatened by a health and ecological catastrophe. Clandestine gold-washers are discharging the mercury they use to separate the gold from the sand into the surrounding rivers, thus making the fish unfit for human consumption and putting the native inhabitants at risk of physical deformation and neurological disease. Alternating archival footage with contemporary material, Dirty Paradise portrays the age-old culture of these native people whose lives are being overturned by the gold-washers' intrusion into their land, and who respond by turning to ancestral rites. Through interviews with the Indians, doctors and gold-washers, this documentary reveals a human tragedy that is happening out of sight of the media.

Running time : 72'
Country : France
Year of production : 2009

Author/ Director : Daniel Schweizer

Production : Maha Productions DSCHOINT VENTSCHR FILMPRODUKTION, ZURICH, ARTE G.E.I.E. et SSR idée suisse

International Sales: Doc & Film International


  • Arterial network
  • Media, Sports and Entertainment Group (MSE)
  • Gens de la Caraïbe
  • Groupe 30 Afrique
  • Alliance Française VANUATU
  • Zimbabwe : Culture Fund Of Zimbabwe Trust
  • RDC : Groupe TACCEMS
  • Rwanda : Positive Production
  • Togo : Kadam Kadam
  • Niger : ONG Culture Art Humanité
  • Collectif 2004 Images
  • Africultures Burkina-Faso
  • Bénincultures / Editions Plurielles
  • Africiné
  • Afrilivres

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