Mark Grieco

The Colombian town of Marmato is home to one of the biggest gold reserves in the world. The inhabitants have dug for the gold themselves to make a living. But the indigenous people risk being displaced now that the government has sold the mines to a large corporation. Extraordinarily beautiful documentary about globalisation and gold fever versus a decent existence.

Every day, the families in the Colombian mining town pray for the men’s safe return, as they go down into the gold mines armed with only an old lamp and a scoop. Underneath the town is one of the world’s biggest gold reserves. In 2006 the Colombian government attracted foreign investment to the region. A Canadian corporation bought 80 per cent of the mines from the state, triggering a true gold fever. As the exploitation plans unfold, the local population risks losing everything. Apart from the 8,000 town dwellers losing their revenues, homes and traditional culture, the beautiful mountain landscape will be destroyed for a desolate open-pit gold mine.

For six years the makers filmed the inhabitants’ opposition, resulting in a touching and breathtaking portrait of a community that bravely struggles for its economic independence.


Mark Grieco
Stuart Reid
Country of production
United States, Colombia
88 minutes
Spoken language
English, Spanish
Production company
Calle Films
World Sales
Ro*co Films International