STONES FOR POOR PEOPLE

PARA LOS POBRES PIEDRAS

By Mathieu ORCEL

KÔN SUD - as PROD

Documentary - Completed 2011

"Stones for poor people and for the rich the best parts", argue mapuche goat breeders from Neuquen, Patagonia.
This sentence is the one that creates the most precise documentary look about the life of this nomad people.

    • Year of production
    • 2011
    • Genres
    • Documentary
    • Countries
    • ARGENTINA
    • Languages
    • SPANISH
    • Duration
    • 71 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Mathieu ORCEL
    • Writer(s)
    • Marcela SLUKA, Mathieu ORCEL
    • Producer(s)
    • Alberto MASLIAH (SOMBRACINE), Fer BARRAZA (EFECTO TABANO), Mathieu ORCEL (KÔN SUD)
    • Synopsis
    • In December, the drought is hard on the grass and the animals of Neuquén. In search of fresh pastures, the goat breeders need to make the journey to summer grazing grounds: driving their animals from the plateau to the fertile valleys high up in the mountains.
      Each year they remain “up there” for three months, returning in the first days of April, when the winter grazing grounds have recovered.
      On 2 January, Ernaldo and Cecilia’s family, members of the Paineo Mapuche community, depart. They are 5 goat breeders herding 1000 goats in all. Cecilia, the women and the children stay down below, lending support with their prayers and their chants.
      Throughout the journey one finite but very powerful obstacle stands out: barbed wire. It cuts across paths, bars access to water on the journey, expropriates, encloses, and sometimes kills.
      The goat breeders go ever higher into the mountains, passing through native forests of Pehuen*, and mountain crests until they finally arrive at the summer grazing grounds, “up there,” where the animals can graze in abundance. Water, green, pasture. It’s paradise. But the puma and the vulture are also waiting for the goats, which are entering their ancestral territory.
      * in Mapudungun the S is not used to form plurals
      In the community, “down below”, they are also making preparations to climb the mountains, in February, to perform a Mapuche protest ceremony (pichi n’guillepun): in 2004 “Primeros Pinos” moved in. It is a private company that plans to deprive these people of the valley for their summer grazing grounds and cover it with species of conifers alien to the region, and now they have fenced off the area.
      The wire is coming dangerously close to the summer grazing grounds of the Mapuche community.
    • Beginning of shooting
    • Jan 01, 2010
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