If you watched our recent Making Connections: Young People and Communities on the Frontlines of Climate Justice event and want to find out more, here are three films to watch about the impacts and resistance to coal mining.
Sexy Killers is directed by Dandhy Laksono and Suparta Arz and was produced as part of Ekspedisi Indonesia Biru (Blue Indonesia Expedition), a series of documentary films based on a year-long motorcycle expedition throughout Indonesia. The film paints a detailed portrait of the coal industry in Indonesia. In addition to touching on the environmental damage and protests mounted in response to coal mining and the construction of coal-fired power plants, the documentary reveals deep links between the coal industry and Indonesian politicians, and this meant the film attracted considerable public attention when it aired shortly before the 2019 election. It was widely shown to large audiences in public, community and trade union venues and within 36 hours of being uploaded to YouTube it had received 1.5 million views. Ten days later it had reached 19 million and as of September 2020, it was at 33 million views. This is unusual for independently produced documentary films.
This film cleverly opens like a youtube advert – pay attention and stay with it!
If She Built a Country
Rural, Adivasi (Indigenous), working women from the villages of Chhattisgarh critique the grand narrative of development, envisaging a more just and equitable paradigm. As mines and power plants appear and grow in monstrous proportions around them, many of them have been cheated of their land and compensation. Their relationship with the forest and environment has been severed, leaving them surrounded by a toxic, polluted, gutted earth. As they grapple with all this, they seek justice for themselves and their communities and share their thoughts about how a country should be. This inspiring and award-winning film showing the power of organising is directed by Maheen Mirza, 2018
From the communities in the Hasdeo Arand, also in Chhattisgarh, comes this short film
A decade long struggle by Gram Sabhas to save Hasdeo Arand – A pristine natural forest
The Hasdeo Arand (forest) in Chhattisgarh in central India is rich in biodiversity including rare plants and endangered animals. It is also home to thousands of Adivasi people dependent on it for their livelihoods. Their way of life protects the forest. But the villages and forests of Hasdeo Arand have been divided into coal-mining blocks that are being allotted to companies. Despite the special laws protecting Adivasi Rights to the forest (PESA 1996 and Forest Rights Act 2006) and strong opposition from gram sabhas (village councils) who have the right to reject mining under these laws, environmental and forest clearances have proceeded. In some cases the forest clearance has been awarded based on faked gram sabha proceedings. Through the voices of the villagers, community organisers and environmentalists, this film tells the story of the long and still ongoing struggle by the villagers to protect the forest and their rights to live and work within it.