About The Film

Narrated by Academy Award winners Sissy Spacek and Herbie Hancock, RIVER OF GOLD is the disturbing account of a clandestine journey bearing witness to the apocalyptic destruction of the rainforest in the pursuit of illegally mined gold.

War journalists Ron Haviv and Donovan Webster travel along Peru’s Madre de Dios River to reveal the savage unraveling of pristine rainforest. Peruvian environmental activist and biologist, Enrique Ortiz, guides the team, pointing out the heedless exploitation of the land. Miners rush to the Amazon to scrape together enough money to start a business or to feed their family while disregarding the catastrophic consequences to their health and homeland. Vulnerable trees, over one thousand years old, and countless species of plants, animals, and insects, both known to science and yet to be discovered, fall victim to the annihilation as well. Environmental degradation and human degradation are irrevocably intertwined as illegal gold mining is directly tied to corruption, human trafficking, narcotics, and organized crime.

An animated agouti springs to life to tell the story of its ecosystem, as it represents the only species capable of cracking open the Brazil nut and thereby repopulating this essential apex forest tree. The valuable Amazon rainforest is not only being stripped of life, but also forever poisoned with mercury, a byproduct of illegal mining practices. Flash forward four years to a massive intervention by the Peruvian government. What will be the fate of this critical region as these extraordinarily beautiful forests are turned into a hellish wasteland?

RIVER OF GOLD reaffirms the right of the rainforest to exist as a repository of priceless biodiversity and not as the toxic remains of man’s greed for gold.