In 2008, the Peruvian government divided 70% of the country into more than 100 blocks. It then sold the rights to exploit this land, much of it precious rainforest, to multinational companies. In protest, a group of indigenous people decided to occupy the airfield of the oil company Pluspetrol. They wanted to let them know that they were destroying their livelihood; for years rivers had been full of oil and their children had died young.
When a policeman is killed, a group of indigenous men are jailed, accused of murder and terrorism. Held in a prison a week by boat from their families, they have to try to clear their names in a courtroom where everything is stacked against them, including a shockingly corrupt police force. The indigenous people are poor and disliked by the majority public, so their chances of winning a courtroom battle are next to none, but a young indigenous leader, Fachin, refuses to give in. Their only hope lies with an impassioned defence lawyer and an eyewitness too frightened to testify.
With extraordinary access to the judicial process, directors Michael Christoffersen and Hans la Cour follow their plight.
Green Award, Sheffield Documentary Festival, 2012
From 1983, Michael Christoffersen has worked as a journalist, editor-in-chief, media consultant, producer and director. In 1999 he was one of the co-founders of Team Productions, a Danish production company specialising in international documentary film production. Today he continues his activities in his company: Simply Films. In addition, he works as a creative adviser for film and TV productions.
Other films include: 'Milosevic on Trial', 'Saving Saddam' (co-director, producer) and 'Genocide: The Judgement'.