IDFA - Máxima
Claudia Sparrow / US, PE, 2019 / 88 min.
It may look like a bare patch of land, but to Máxima and her family it’s the center of their lives. It is here, somewhere high in the Peruvian Andes, that they tend their cattle, cultivate vegetables, pluck medicinal herbs and draw drinking water from the mountain lake.
But the breathtaking aerial shots of the landscape are marred by an enormous crater—the shape of an upturned pyramid some 200 meters deep. This is the neighboring goldmine, one of the largest in the world. The mining company wants to expand, and that means it”s going to swallow up Máxima”s plot.
The police show up in excessive numbers to kick the family out of their farm, but this only fuels Máxima”s will to fight. The highly polluting goldmine threatens the quality of the drinking water, and her struggle against the powers that be strikes a chord with the rest of the country. Máxima becomes a symbol for the battle for human rights. While she fights one court case after the other, the mining company plows up her potato field to torment her.
As the film progresses, our astonishment grows at how flagrant greed crushes the bare necessities of life. One of the interviewees, a human rights lawyer, sums it up perfectly: “You can”t eat gold.”