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South America — Civilization
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1.

Paraguay [electronic resource]: Soya and Pesticides

When an 11-year-old Paraguayan boy named Silvino Talavera died from pesticide poisoning in 2003, his name became a rallying cry in the fight against intensive soya production. This program recounts the tragedy and the legal, political, and economic impact of "agritoxins" in Latin America. Opening with a poetically filmed reenactment and moving on to feature key players in the story, the film includes an interview with Fernando Lugo-a Catholic priest whose election to Paraguay's presidency shifted policy away from large-scale agricultural interests toward more populist causes. Land redistribution and genetic modification emerge as central topics in this look at a controversy that is far from over.
Online
2010; 2009
2.

Brazil [electronic resource]: Urban Planning Challenges

A city shouldn't be a problem, says Jaime Lerner, the former mayor of Curitiba. "It should be a solution." This program explores innovative planning, engineering, and conservation at work in the Brazilian metropolis as it transcends many of the problems plaguing other South American cities. The film spotlights fully modernized public transportation and recycling systems, a "Citizenship Street" zoning pattern that reduces high-volume traffic, an oil collection program that transforms used cooking grease into biofuel, and other successful initiatives. But the need for a waste-for-food exchange program demonstrates that even Curitiba must still contend with poverty and other social challenges.
Online
2010; 2009
3.

Lost Road of the Inca: Part 1 [electronic resource]

Karin Muller is an American on a quest to understand other cultures. This program follows her as she begins her journey of discovery along the route of the ancient Incan highway through South America. In Ecuador, she endures tear gas during a labor riot and witnesses backbreaking toil in a crude, antiquated gold mine. On the disputed border between Ecuador and Peru, she watches ordnance troops unearth and detonate a land mine, visits the lonely graves of fallen soldiers, and-in a life-affirming turn-finds welcome respite in drinking boiled yucca tea at a family farm. Muller provides engaging and eloquent voice-over commentary as her trek progresses.
Online
2010; 1999
4.

Lost Road of the Inca: Part 2 [electronic resource]

From medicinal shamans to taxi drivers in rusty death traps, this program plunges further into the depth and breadth of life in South America-following American adventurer Karin Muller as she travels the ancient Incan highway. Muller joins Peruvian fishermen plying their trade in handmade reed boats; watches herds of vicuna penned and sheared of their precious wool; absorbs the spectacle of Machu Picchu and its sophisticated stonework; and encounters the spirit of Carnival and Catholic devotion in Bolivia. Then comes a euphoric motorcycle ride into Chile-until Muller reaches Santiago, reenters the world of billboards and fast food, and bids farewell to a landscape of countless cultural riches.
Online
2010; 1999
5.

The Ache Indians of Paraguay [electronic resource]

Inhabiting a shrinking pocket of rainforest in Paraguay's Eastern Canindeyu Region, the Ache are one of South America's last hunter-gatherer societies-and in imminent danger of cultural extinction. This program presents an intimate portrait of the Ache in their natural habitat, focusing on the Gatu tribal group. Sequences filmed during extensive stays with the tribe reveal their customs and technology, including hunting tools and methods, camp preparations, forays into agriculture and commerce, and a spiritual connection with jungle wildlife. Interviews with anthropologists and political advocates help illuminate the tribe's struggle against rapid development and roving campesinos.
Online
2009; 2008
6.

Mama Coca's War [electronic resource]: How the War on Drugs Impacts Latin America

Since the United Nations prohibited coca cultivation in 1961, a battle has raged around the simple, versatile plant. In the West, coca is synonymous with violence and terror. For the people of the Andes, however, coca represents a viable and ancient livelihood. This program follows their resistance to the sweeping illegalization and eradication measures instituted by Latin American governments, the United States, and other global powers. Viewers will learn how activist networks cross national borders with increasing momentum while risking reprisals by death squads and guerilla forces. The film also presents the perspective of police and drug enforcement agencies that patrol the Latin American "drug route.
Online
2009; 2007