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Nicolas Entel
Completed 2013 Runtime 31


YASUNI explores the role of the oil industry in the lives of two native communities in the Amazon, and establishes a sharp contrast between those that have been touched by the oil companies, and those that have not.

Long Synopsis:

In March 2012, with the intent of promoting the Yasuni-ITT Initiative, filmmaker Nicolas Entel set up a two-ton oilrig in New York’s Madison Square Park. After the rage the installation of the oilrig in Manhattan causes, Entel decides to make a documentary about the Yasuni region. In Coca, the oil capital of the Amazon, Entel meets with Alex Rumi Aguinda, a member of the Añangu Community.

The community consists of some 150 people and it is very well organized, successfully managing two worlds: the jungle and the modern world. The Añangu’s success doesn’t mean that things are going well in the jungle, unfortunately, they are an exception. Wherever oil companies have been pumping the black gold for forty years, the outlook is considerably bleaker. After a six-hour walk in pristine territory –there is a road for the oil trucks, but it is privately owned-, Alex & Entel meet with Humberto, the president of a Waorani Community.

A generation ago, the Waorani used to live in the rainforest with absolutely no contact with the outside world. An illiterate people, the Waoranis were tricked into giving their lands away by signing agreements with the oil companies that they themselves could not understand. Poignantly, Humberto describes how his people are condemned to outright poverty and sometimes to death by non-natural diseases. Back in Quito, Entel meets with President Rafael Correa, who explains how his country is trying to balance between preserving the world’s most biodiverse area with its need to exploit its natural resources.