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The Dam

"Barragem" is a documentary in direct cinema about the struggle of those affected by the biggest environmental disaster in Brazil to obtain redress. After the Samarco mining tailings dam burst, the residents of Bento Rodrigues, in Mariana (MG), were left without their homes and sources of income. Disillusionment, disinformation, disunity, scams, appeasements and other maneuvers will mark the way of those affected.

  • Eduardo Ades
    Torquato Neto - Todas as horas do fim, Crônica da demolição
  • Eduardo Ades
    Crônica da demolição, Torquato Neto - Todas as horas do fim
  • Eduardo Ades
    Crônica da demolição, Torquato Neto - Todas as horas do fim
  • João Felipe Freitas
    Crônica da demolição, Torquato Neto - Todas as horas do fim
  • João Felipe Freitas
    Torquato Neto - Todas as horas do fim
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  • Genres:
    Direct cinema
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 36 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    November 5, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    100,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
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  • First-time Filmmaker:
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Director Biography - Eduardo Ades

EDUARDO ADES (Rio de Janeiro, 1981) is a director, screenwriter and producer, with 17 years of experience in the industry. Director, writer and producer of the feature documentaries “Torquato Neto – Every Hour of the End” (2017, 9 awards, screened in CineLatino Toulouse and Havana) and "Chronicle of the Demolition" (2015, 5 awards), and the fiction short film "The Lady From Estacio" (2012, 22 awards). Producer of “Mata” (Nascimento and Fadnes, 2020), “Yorimatã” (Saar, 2014) and “Hill of Pleasures” (Maria Ramos, 2013).

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Director Statement

Urgency took me to the village of Mariana. On November 5th, 2015, Brazil stopped to see the devastation caused by the Samarco dam-break in Mariana. For the following 15 days, the country watched the mud covering down the Doce River until the sea, destroying everything in its way. It was wasting.

By that time, I was seeking for a present theme for a new documentary. After two archival films, I wanted to be outside with the subject, to interact with living people, and to express myself with the tools of the direct cinema, an important reference to me. And above all, I wanted to make a film about current affairs, focusing on themes that impact a lot of people.

I realized Mariana was the theme I was looking for. A month later, I went there (it’s a 7-hour trip) and I was surprised no one was giving real attention to the drama of the affected people. And they were really welcoming – that’s when I decided my subject. The human rights crisis behind the environmental crisis. Soon, we were back there with a very small crew to start shooting.

We followed the live of the destroyed community of Bento Rodrigues, from 2016 to 2019. Another huge dam-brake happened in the meanwhile, killing 270 people, but even that didn’t change the perspectives of a faster or better solution to the affected ones.