When Two Worlds Collide

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Alberto Pizango (flickr.com)

When Two Worlds Collide (2016) is a film by Heidi Brandenburg and Mathew Orzel. I watched this documentary  in the middle of october and was stunned by it, so I hope I can share some impressions here.

The film tells the story of the Indigenous peoples in Peru and how they fight the resource extraction, in specific oil, in the Amazon. The film concentrates on the 2009 Peruvian political crisis: Because of a law granting corporation easy access to resource extraction in the Amazon, Indigenous groups united themselves to stand up against the destruction of their home. This led to confrontations and several deaths on both sides. The film shows very clearly, that Indigenous people feel connected to nature and that they are ready to protect it with their lives.

At one point in the movie, Alberto Pizango, one of the indigenous leaders, says that life is valued above everything else in their tribe. He is being accused of being responsible for the deaths and defends himself. He makes clear, that taking a life was never a desired outcome of the protests, that it happened as a reaction to seeing their brothers and sisters being attacked. He says that even the life of an ant is sacred. This shows that, for these indigenous people, protection of nature and resources is not about living sustainably in the first place, it’s not only about securing resources for children and grandchildren.  Also you can see, that while in asylum in Nicaragua, Pizango is very downcast. Finally, he needs to go back to Peru and fight with his people. Only when he gets home, you can see him smile again.

There is a profound respect towards nature and life itself, which makes it worth defending it. By living in nature, people value its gifts and its beauty, they become attached to it. The Indigenous people love each other but there is also a love towards nature and this might be a basis for the sustainable way Indigenous peoples live.

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