Mariette Liefferink versus the giants - will the authorities and gold mine owners in Johannesburg take responsibility for their environmental disaster?
Impeccable manners, distinctive pronunciation, high heels, extravagant outfits, makeup and jewelry. The protagonist of the film by Sylvia Vollenhoven and Fredrik Gertten is a very stylish star, although she does not shine in the firmaments of business or fashion. At first, business giants seem to even dismiss her with a benevolent smile. They are making a mistake as they are facing a formidable human rights defender. Mariette Lefferink wears fake gold ornaments because she considers real gold to be dirty. Almost literally - the uranium used to mine it is carried by the wind and deposited on everything around like a sinister memento of Johannesburg's golden past. Neither the owners of large mines nor the state feel responsible for the tragic consequences incurred by the poor neighborhoods of the city adjacent to the mines. With self-mockery, but also with characteristic confidence, Mariette, a former Jehovah's Witness, says, “I just think that perhaps God has lost his interest in mankind. And that is why I've felt it is now my duty to go out and try to restore some sense of justice."
Encounters South African IDF 2019
Screenings of the film as part of the WATCH DOCS travelling festival are co-financed by the European Union in the frame of the European Parliament's grant programme in the field of communication. The European Parliament was not involved in its preparation and is, in no case, responsible for or bound by the information or opinions expressed in the context of this action. In accordance with applicable law, the authors, interviewed people, publishers or programme broadcasters are solely responsible. The European Parliament can also not be held liable for direct or indirect damage that may result from the implementation of the action.