‘It’s our problem’: Brazilian drama brings Amazon rainforest battle to screen – by Anna Jean Kaiser (The Guardian – July 13, 2019)


Aruanas aims to make the environment an ‘everyday topic’ at a time when politics is dominated by the interests of agribusiness

Deep in the Brazilian Amazon, an environmental activist meets with a journalist who warns that a mining company is responsible for a looming environmental disaster. “People are already getting sick,” he warns, before promising to bring her documentary proof the next day.

But in the jungle, someone is watching. Driving to their next meeting, the activist hears a phone ringing in the back of her car. She opens the trunk – and finds the journalist’s dead body.

The gruesome discovery is the opening act of the latest blockbuster series from Brazil’s telenovela powerhouse TV Globo: Aruanas. The series focuses on environmental journalists and activists in the country’s vast, forested interior, where 57 environmental defenders were killed in 2017.

Brazil’s telenovelas have a history of shaping public opinion on current affairs – and this series tackles one of the country’s most pressing issues: the high-stakes battle over the world’s largest rainforest at a time when politics is dominated by the interests of agribusiness.

The largest caucus in Brazil’s congress – the ruralista bloc – represents agribusiness interests, and in January their longtime ally, Jair Bolsonaro, became president.

For the rest of this article: https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2019/jul/13/aruanas-brazil-amazon-rainforest-drama-marcos-nisti

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