ALMA by Patrick Rouxel

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Beautifully shot, alternately joyful and horrifying, Alma captures the ecological, and even spiritual, cost of meat, dairy, and leather production in the Amazon
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Description

Beautifully shot, alternately joyful and horrifying, Alma captures the ecological, and even spiritual, cost of meat, dairy, and leather production in the Amazon.

Since 2003, Patrick Rouxel has dedicated his time to making films aimed at raising awareness of deforestation, loss of biodiversity, and the ethical treatment of animals. The multi-award winning GREEN presented a heartrending account of the life of an Orangutan against a backdrop of palm oil production and natural habitat loss.

In Alma, Rouxel continues his visual poetry into the world’s forests and the industries that are destroying them, this time heading to Brazil to explore the devastating impacts of the cattle industry. Here he creates a powerful statement about the global industrial economy and the speed with which virgin forests are being cleared for timber and new grazing land.

The film offers a unique and visually stunning exposition of a colorful cowboy culture and the millions of animals used to satisfy our voracious global appetite for meat and dairy products. In almost-wordless contemplation, the film wanders from forest to pasture to rodeo to slaughterhouse to market to tannery. In essence, ALMA is a journey into the soul of humanity and a testimony of the damage inflicted by humans on the natural world.
~ Rachel Caplan
San Francisco Green FIlm Festival

NTSC DVD
All Regions

Patrick Rouxel
France, 2011, 65 mins.
No narration

FILMMAKER’S STATEMENT about his films
All my films are about deforestation, loss of biodiversity, animal and human suffering, consumerism and economic development. I like to make them independently, free of all political or commercial interest. They are my way of helping the forest, the wildlife and the victims of human greed. My films are a citizen act driven by empathy and by the guilt of being myself a part of the problem.


help-3-sun-bears
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Patrick is one of the most compassionate visual storytellers of our time. His next film will the life of sun bears in part, but before he returns to Paris to edit the film, he wants to complete an enclosure for 3 captive sun bears that have welcomed him as a friend. Please visit his webpage about the project and contribute if you can. A short video is below..and meet the sun bears! http://help3sunbears.blogspot.com/2014_02_01_archive.html

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Additional information

Weight 0.32 lbs
Dimensions 9 x 6 x 0.5 in
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Reviews

  1. EMRO
    August 3, 2012
    ALMA (the soul), the second in Patrick Rouxel’s trilogy on rainforest destruction, is presented without narration, a visual poem that describes the beauties of the Amazon ecosystem destroyed by deforestation for lumbering and the burning of the remaining undergrowth to provide pastures for the cattle industry. The loss of wilderness habitat and exotic species is contrasted with the rather mundane end products of the destroyed rainforest. Lumbering supplies wood for furniture and building in Brazil, and more importantly supplies exotic woods for export to the furniture industries overseas. Pastureland provides beef and dairy products. The processing of beef for export is graphically shown and may upset younger viewers, as well as the extraordinary cruelties inherent in cattle processing and culling for the beef and dairy industry. To what effect? Jobs are created for those who work in the lumber, beef and dairy industries, as well as retailers and exporters of beef and dairy products. Are these jobs, the Brazilian economy, the exotic woods, leather and beef for export, and beef and dairy products for domestic consumption, worth the destruction of the ecosystem?
    The overall quality of the film is excellent from the beautiful nature cinematography at the beginning through the gritty documentary filming of cattle processing, herding and culling, the cumulative effect of which suggests dehumanization those employed in the process. The filmmaker is fair to also show the good side of these industries in the economy, the relative prosperity that gives rise to vehicle ownership, rodeos and beef festivals. The film editing is excellent, and again, the viewer is subtly asked to decide if the destruction is worth it all. The film can be seen online or downloaded free from the film’s website, and public performance rights come with the purchase of the DVD.

    This video is highly recommended. The rise of Brazilian exports in the world economy comes at an enormous cost to the Amazon rainforests. Those who are able to view this film will certainly be educated on the scope of the choices that have been made to allow the Brazilian economy to prosper. The filmmaker suggests that we help the planet by cutting down on the consumption of meat, leather, and products from exotic woods. It is up to each viewer to decide the extent of his or her reduction in consumption, also whether further steps need be taken to ensure the preservation of the Amazon rainforest.

    Video Librarian
    July/Aug 2012
    The second entry in French filmmaker Patrick Rouxel’s “Rainforest Trilogy” (the first was his 2009 Indonesian-based GREEN, reviewed in VL Online 5/10), Alma takes viewers to Brazil, where the local lumber and cattle industries have razed great expanses of rainforest to accommodate their respective trades. Presented without narration, the documentary begins with an idyllic look at the forest’s animal species – a stunning sequence depicting the complex ecosystem – which is sadly followed by bulldozers and chainsaws that permanently disfigure the landscape, coupled with an intentionally set fire that kills off defenseless creatures. One of the most horrifying moments finds a tortoise viewing the flames while remaining trapped by the surrounding inferno (the charred corpse is shown a few minutes later). With nature harshly muscled aside by the industrial interlopers, sawmills busily reduce the once mighty trees to planks while dairy farmers round up sickly looking cows and their emaciated calves. At one point, the hungry young have their jaws roped shut while herders help themselves to the cows’ milk. A nearby slaughterhouse becomes the final destination for most of the cattle (Brazil has recently become the world’s leading exporter of beef and leather hides), while a rodeo brought in to entertain the newly arrived forest villagers further exploits the bovines. Alma is an extremely depressing but also a very provocative film – a striking, crisply edited, disturbing cinematic essay.

    Highly Recommended. 3.5 stars out of 4
    Audiences: College/ University, Public Libraries
    (P. Hall)

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