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Film Reveals Deadly Impact of Illicit Gold Mining In The Amazon

Riveting documentary River of Gold, which sounds the alarm about the dire threat of illicit and unregulated gold mining to the Amazon Rainforest, is now available on digital rental platforms in the U.S., with additional countries to follow. Narrated by Academy Award winner Sissy Spacek and Academy Award and Grammy winner Herbie Hancock, River of Gold is the harrowing account of a clandestine journey into Peru’s Amazon rainforest to uncover the savage unraveling of pristine jungle by illicit small-scale gold mining. The film is produced by Amazon Aid Foundation which has developed a series of ways audiences can support and activate positive change.

“I often describe nature as being the place where I find the greatest comfort, which is why I was compelled to help voice this document of the rainforest’s destruction,” explains Spacek. “I hope that when people see the film they find it in their hearts to help save this wondrous place.”

“We are citizens of the world, and if we want to create change we need to be open to the experiences of others and our ultimate interconnectedness,” notes Hancock. “Films, like music, allow us to build empathy and understanding. From there, we can work together to reimagine our future.”

In the documentary, Ron Haviv and Donovan Webster, two war journalists, led by Enrique Ortiz, a Peruvian scientist and activist, expose unthinkable, apocalyptic destruction in Peru. The film reveals how gold mining is obliterating biodiversity, endangering local populations, and turning forests into hellish wastelands. It also explores global consequences of deforestation in Peru, and across the Amazon, and of the illegal gold trade.

The film also illuminates how vulnerable trees, over one thousand years old, and countless species of plants, animals and insects – both known to science and yet to be discovered – fall victim to the wide-spread annihilation. And it finds that environmental and human degradation are irrevocably intertwined, with illegal gold mining directly tied to corruption, human trafficking, narcotics, and organized crime.

River of Gold, an Amazon Aid Foundation Production, is co-directed by Sarah DuPont and Reuben Aaronson. Producers are duPont, Aaronson, and James Cavello.

“Illicit and unregulated gold mining is one of the fastest and most dangerous forms of deforestation in the Amazon today,” said DuPont. “River of Gold is a testimonial to the urgency of the situation, and it is a call to act. We will make change, but it starts with awareness, education and inspiration to build a future that protects the rainforest and its people.”

River of Gold is a powerful, eye-opening documentary on one of the most tragic and urgent situations the planet is facing,” added Mounia Chiboub from distributor Under The MilkyWay. “We are honored to bring such a timely and important project to audiences around the world.”

Amazon Aid Foundation educates and activates global citizens to protect the Amazon through art, science, multimedia and film. Its vision is to preserve the Amazon rainforest for the health of the planet and for future generations to enjoy.

Under The Milky Way is a worldwide film digital distribution company. The company works with a large number of VoD platforms. It is fully operational in more than 100 territories and has brought around 5000 features to audiences out of its 13 regional offices in Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia.