In 1984, Swedish mining conglomerate Boliden began shipping toxic waste to Chile. Despite claims that the smelter sludge would be safely processed, 20,000 tonnes of lead, arsenic and mercury-laden waste were dumped in Arica.
In 2008, Lars Edman and William Johansson filmed in Arica with whistle-blower Rolf Svedberg, the man who signed the export papers. The waste material had lain unattended for years and 3,000 people fell victim to cancer, birth defects and neurological disorders. After watching the resulting film, US lawyer Lewis Gordon initiated a landmark ‘Toxic Colonialism’ case against Boliden. Along with the playground children, they create a Swedish company ‘Arica Victims Inc.’ to initiate the process, and Lars and William negotiate unique access to the legal team. They also return to Chile to capture new evidence and renew acquaintances with young mother Jocelyn, campaigner Rodrigo and Patricia, who’s daughter has a severe disability, caused by high levels of arsenic in her blood.
The tables turn as Lars’ is called as a witness for the prosecution and Rolf switches sides and refuses to talk. He will appear in court for the defence. The dénoument of the trial provides our final act, as the verdict is announced and the two sides respond.
Will Goliath win and be forced to appeal? Or will David show the justice can be within the reach of the poor and vulnerable?
SCREENINGS & AWARDS
DIRECTOR’S BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY
PRODUCER’S BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY
Andy Jones, Radio Film
Swedish Film Institute
Swedish Postcode Lottery
Swedish Arts Grant
Film i Västerbotten