Directed by Christopher Walker • Documentary • 2019 • 90 minutes
Since the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors, Ecuador’s Waorani tribe, have defended their Amazon rainforest with spears. In the 1950’s American missionaries cleared the way for oil companies to enter Waorani lands. Now 70% of Ecuador’s Amazon, home to some 12 tribes, has been divided into oil blocks, polluting one of the most bio diverse rainforests of the planet. Only one small tribe, the Waorani, have successfully fought to keep oil off most of their land.
25 years ago, director Christopher Walker went to the Amazon to tell the Waorani’s story in the documentary film TRINKETS & BEADS. Now, Ecuador has started to auction off the last virgin rainforest to the international oil industry – including the Yasuni National Park, thought to contain more species per acre than anywhere else on earth. At the end of 2014, Walker returned to Ecuador to see if the Waorani could still win their fight against big oil. He filmed over three years, up to the imminent auction of Waorani oil Block 22.
SPEARS FROM ALL SIDES, besides being a gripping story following action and events as they unfold, demonstrates the complex battles at the frontlines of climate change which we are rarely able to see on film.
“Powerful, memorable; the story of the Waorani tribe is happening in real time. Spears from All Sides [shows that] environmental justice and social justice are intertwined; a win for the environment is a win for the people who depend on it.” —Malissa Stark-Rodenburg, Afterimage: The Journal of Media Arts and Cultural Criticism