Do you know where the gold in your ring comes from?
TORONTO (January 30, 2019) – The Shadow of Gold pulls back the curtain on the world’s most coveted heavy metal. Filmed in Canada (Mount Polley, BC), the U.S., London, Dubai, China, Peru and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the feature film is an incisive global investigation of the gold trade, from raw material to market, exposing its impact on human lives, the economy and the planet.
An international Canada-France co-production by award-winning filmmakers Robert Lang (Canada), Denis Delestrac (France) and Sally Blake (France), The Shadow of Gold makes its world premiere at Toronto’s Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema on February 22, followed by screenings in Ottawa (February 27), Vancouver (March 11), Calgary (March 20), Montreal (March 26) and Halifax (Date TBA).
The film will make its broadcast premiere as a two-part documentary with expanded content in back-to-back episodes March 13 at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. on TVO, and March 28 at 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Canal D (Canada). Additional broadcasts on Knowledge Network (BC) – date to be announced, ARTE (France, Germany), SVT (Sweden) and NRK (Norway).
The Shadow of Gold explores the mining industry, from large-scale corporations that dig deep into mountains to extract gold from low-grade ore using toxic extraction methods that haven’t changed in over 120 years, to artisanal miners – an estimated 20 million people in the world’s poorest nations – who extract gold by hand, producing just enough to survive.
The documentary examines how industrial-scale mines are allowed to destroy ecosystems with impunity around the globe. It looks at how the illegal gold trade drives conflict and sustains organized terrorist groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo and exceeds the lucrative drug trade in Columbia and Peru. It also uncovers how gold linked to ecological disaster, the black market and war enters the world supply chain to reach unaware consumers.
In The Shadow of Gold, we meet Indigenous people in British Columbia struggling to recover from a spill of toxic mine waste released into the watershed, back-country guides and entrepreneurs in Montana with deep suspicions about a proposed gold mine that could destroy the pristine wilderness, a woman miner in the Congo who is determined to keep her gold from feeding the flames of war, a brotherhood of Chinese miners, terminally ill with silicosis, fighting a state-owned gold mine for compensation, and an artisanal miner in Peru who knows that the mercury he uses to process gold is toxic and polluting, but feels he has no other option.
The documentary also reveals positive advancements in the industry and engages with engineers, scientists and Fair Trade advocates who work with miners to tackle gold’s worst environmental and social problems. In an industrial-scale mine, we see new technology that replaces cyanide-based processing with a biological process that leaves no toxic cyanide in the waste.
We watch artisanal miners benefit from technology that replaces toxic mercury with an environmentally friendly process that produces more gold. We also meet Fair Trade jewelers and NGOs who have formed partnerships with artisanal miners to ensure a supply chain that is responsibly-sourced, transparent, and free from conflict gold.
The Shadow of Gold is written by Allen Booth and Denis Delestrac, and produced by Robert Lang, Kensington Communications (Canada) and Sally Blake, Films à Cinq and CAPA (France), in association with TVO, Canal D and Knowledge Network (Canada), ARTE (France and Germany), SVT (Sweden) and NRK (Norway).
About Kensington Communications
Founded in 1980 by independent documentary filmmaker Robert Lang, Kensington Communications Inc. has created over 200 productions. The Toronto-based company has earned a reputation for producing exceptional, award-winning television and cross-platform media for international markets. From high-profile television events to moving personal stories, from groundbreaking science to performing arts and innovative online experiences, its diverse productions share a commitment to innovation and imagination.
Productions include Canadian Screen Award-winning TV series Museum Secrets, the cross-platform City Sonic, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, Gemini-Award-winning documentary Diamond Road, Raw Opium and popular award-winning factual programs such as Exhibit A: Secrets of Forensic Science, 72 Hours: True Crime, The Sacred Balance with David Suzuki and many others. For more information, visit kensingtontv.com.
About Films à Cinq
Based in Paris, France, Films à Cinq is the combination of two producers, Sally Blake and Martin de la Fouchardière and the fusion of two cultures – Anglo and French. This linguistic combination has led to a long history of co-productions between French and English-speaking countries. Films à Cinq documentaries about science, cinema and art, continually push for experimentation and excellence in the creative expression of intelligent ideas. Their films have been nominated for Emmys and been selected at Cannes. They have appeared on major television networks and have had cinema releases in North America. For more information, visit filmsacinq.com.
Founded by Hervé Chabalier in 1989 in France, the CAPA Presse specializes in the production of reportages, documentaries, magazine programmes, talk-shows and cross-media content. CAPA also produces series and fiction films via CAPA DRAMA, and communication tools – video, web, photo, graphic design and event – via the CAPA corporate pole. CAPA joined the NEWEN Group in 2010. For more information, visit capatv.com.