Director: Michael Christoffersen and Hans la Cour
Cinematographer: Diego Marroquin Perez
Editor: Niels Ostenfeld
Music: Timo Hietala
Law Of The Jungle
Grierson Trust: Best Documentary on a Contemporary Theme
Sheffield Doc Fest 2012: The Green Award
Deep in the Peruvian rainforest a policeman is killed. The government rounds up the usual suspects and picks out indigenous leaders as murderers and terrorists. But no one has actually witnessed who fired the gun and even fewer cares about the torture and the following revenge murder carried out by the police. The indigenous are poor and despised, so their chances of winning a courtroom battle are next to none. But a young indigenous leader, Fachin, refuses to give in. He contacts a well known Peruvian defense lawyer who specializes in indigenous cases and starts fighting back! And wins!
In 2008, the Peruvian government divided Peru into more than 100 blocks covering 70 per cent of the country. It then sold the rights to exploitation of this 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 they were destroying their livelihood – for years their rivers had been full of oil, and their children had died young. When a policeman is killed, a group of the indigenous men are jailed. 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. Their only hope is an impassioned defence lawyer – and an eyewitness too frightened to testify. With extraordinary access to the judicial process, we follow their plight.