Maxima (2020)

  • Documentary
  • 1h 28m

Maxima tells the incredible story of 2016 environmental Goldman Prize winner Máxima Acuña and her family, who own a small, remote plot in the Peruvian Highlands. The Acuñas rely solely on the environment for their livelihood, but their land sits directly in the path of a multi-billion-dollar project run by one of the world’s largest gold-mining corporations. Faced with intimidation, violence, and criminal prosecution, we follow Máxima’s tireless fight for justice, taking her from the Peruvian Supreme Court to the doors of the World Bank in Washington, D.C. Standing ever mighty, Máxima sings of her love of the land in the face of widespread oppression of indigenous people, and relentless attempts to destroy environmental resources that the world relies on.

“Our dignity has no price.” - Máxima Acuña, Maxima

Winner Audience Award for a Feature Film, Hot Docs 2019

Thank you to everyone who joined our digital film festival screening + live Q&A on June 16. You can still watch the film at your own pace until June 20, and view the recording of the Q&A with the filmmaker Claudia Sparrow and Marissa Vahlsing, Supervising Attorney at EarthRights International here on our Facebook page or below in our “bonus content” section.

We do not want the cost of entry to these films to be a barrier for participation in these events. If the price of buying a ticket to this film would prevent you from participating, please email the following address (filmticket@hrw.org) + we will send you a free ticket code. We have set aside a set # of tickets per film on a first come first-served basis. Once the free tickets are no longer available, the code will no longer work. For anyone that purchases a ticket, we appreciate your support. Your ticket purchase enables us to make tickets free for those who might otherwise be unable to watch. This also allows the festival to support the filmmakers for sharing their work in our festival and for the festival to cover the cost of hosting the films online.

Director

Claudia Sparrow

Producer

Ryan Schwartz

Language(s)

Spanish, English

Bonus Content

42 mins
LIVE Q&A for Maxima

This live Q&A ran on Tuesday June 16 with the filmmaker Claudia Sparrow and Marissa Vahlsing, Supervising Attorney at EarthRights International.

5 mins
South Africa: Activists in Mining Areas Harassed

Community activists in mining areas face harassment, intimidation, and violence. The attacks and harassment have created an atmosphere of fear for community members who mobilize to raise concerns about damage to their livelihoods from the serious environmental and health risks of mining and coal-fired power plants.

Activists report intimidation, violence, damage to property, use of excessive force during peaceful protests, and arbitrary arrest for their activities in highlighting the negative impacts of mining projects on their communities. Municipalities often impose barriers to protest on organizers that have no legal basis. Government officials have failed to adequately investigate allegations of abuse, and some mining companies resort to frivolous lawsuits and social media campaigns to further curb opposition to their projects. The government should protect the activists.

Read full report here, and download Maxima to access this video content.

2 mins
Mining Companies Exploit Rural Communities in Guinea

Guinea’s fast-growing bauxite mining industry is threatening the livelihoods of thousands of Guineans. Mining has destroyed ancestral farmlands, damaged water sources, and coated homes and trees in dust. Guinea’s government, which has transformed Guinea into the world’s third-largest exporter, should take immediate steps to better regulate companies and protect communities.

Read full report here, and download Maxima to access this video content.

10 mins
Along the Winisk River

In Canada, a remote Indigenous community is fighting for its survival in the age of climate change. Extreme weather, changes in ice formation, and wildfires have made hunting and gathering for traditional food more and more dangerous and difficult. Along the Winisk River is a portrait of a community as it comes together to embark on a caribou hunt in the freezing subarctic winter of Canada. The film explores the impacts of this struggle against a backdrop of systemic discrimination and calls for the government of Canada to do better to protect Indigenous communities.

Download Maxima to access this video content.

Directors: Janna Kyllästinen & Asia Youngman

10 mins
How Violence and Impunity Fuel Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon

2019: Brazilians who defend the Amazon are facing threats and attacks from criminal networks engaged in illegal logging. The situation is only getting worse under President Bolsonaro, whose assault on the country’s environmental agencies is putting the rainforest and the people who live there at much greater risk.

Read the full, interactive report here, and download Maxima to access this video content.

5 mins
Indonesia: Indigenous Peoples Losing Their Forests

The Indonesian government is failing to protect the rights of Indigenous peoples who have lost their traditional forests and livelihoods to oil palm plantations in West Kalimantan and Jambi provinces.

Human Rights Watch examines how a patchwork of weak laws, exacerbated by poor government oversight, and the failure of oil palm plantation companies to fulfill their human rights responsibilities have adversely affected Indigenous peoples’ rights to their forests, livelihood, food, water, and culture in Bengkayang regency, West Kalimantan, and Sarolangun regency, Jambi. The report, based on interviews with over 100 people and extensive field research, highlights the distinct challenges Indigenous people, particularly women, face as a result.

Read full report here, and download Maxima to access this video content.

1 mins
Venezuela: Violent Abuses in Illegal Gold Mines

Residents of Venezuela’s southern Bolívar state are suffering amputations and other horrific abuses at the hands of armed groups, including Venezuelan groups called “syndicates” in the area and Colombian armed groups operating in the region, both of which exercise control over gold mines. The armed groups seem to operate largely with government acquiescence, and in some cases government involvement, to maintain tight social control over local populations.

Read full report here, and download Maxima to access this video content.

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