THE AMAZON ON THE BRINK

When the world’s green lungs burn, international experts and politicians take notice. We investigate the unfolding ecological and humanitarian catastrophe wrought by the Amazon rainforest fires in summer 2019.

The images of the burning Amazon rainforests horrified people all over the world in the summer of 2019. Suddenly the threat seemed real – the world’s lungs were burning, and politicians, journalists and everyone else agreed that something had to be done. Without the Amazon region, the entire earth is at risk. The Amazon carries more water than any other river and the surrounding area has the greatest biodiversity anywhere in the world. The region is home to many indigenous people whose habitat is now under massive threat. The film reflects on the ecological and humanitarian catastrophe unfolding there and looks for the reasons behind the disastrous handling of this unique ecosystem. We take stock of the situation on the ground, travelling across Brazil to view the crisis region and meet with experts, critics and those affected to assess the situation. We hear from Ricardo Galvão, for example, director of the National Institute for Space Research, who was dismissed by Brazilian President Bolsonaro when his institute published data showing a dramatic increase in illegal logging in 2019. The film leaves us with the impression of a region at a crossroads – a region whose future will shape that of the entire world.

Genre Current Affairs / Environment
Length 53’ HD
Film by Albert Knechtel
Production RILANA Film for ZDF/ARTE
Original Title SOS Amazonas – Apokalypse im Regenwald / Amazonie, la maison brûle
Year 2019