Documentary exposes 15 years of environmental crimes in the Brazilian Amazon

Brasil de Fato’s film ‘It Tasted Like Perfume’ shows impacts of mining on local communities

Leia em português | Lea en español | Brasil de Fato | São Paulo

Residents of unemployment-ridden Barcarena make a living out of the city’s landfill as informal waste pickers / Screenshot

The documentary film It ‘Tasted’ Like Perfume: Environmental Crimes in Northern Brazil, a Brasil de Fato production, shows the brutal impacts of decades of unaccountable mining operations on the lives of riverside communities in Pará state, in the Brazilian Amazon. Residents of communities such as Burajuba, in the city of Barcarena, struggle as Norsk Hydro-owned mining company Hydro Alunorte and French multinational Imerys have been constantly spilling toxic waste into the area’s rivers and streams for decades.

While the 2015 disaster in southeastern Brazil, where two dams owned by Samarco collapsed and left a trail of over 300 miles of destruction and death, is considered the biggest environmental tragedy in the country’s history, the documentary shows that, in this Pará area, the destruction is slowly killing communities and the environment over the course of many years.

The Barcarena area, where 99,000 people live, has recorded an average of one serious environmental incident every nine months for the last 15 years. Currently, around 26% of Barcarena’s population is less than 15 years old.

Click the CC button in the player’s bottom toolbar for English subtitles and watch the full documentary below:

Edition: Brasil de Fato | Translated by Aline Scátola