THEY CAME IN SOFTLY: LIFE IN THE SHADOW OF A MINE | 2016
Commissioned by AC4 at The Earth Institute. Directed, Filmed, Edited by Emily Kaye Allen
Mining has fundamentally changed the environmental and social landscape of the highlands of Papua New Guinea. At the Porgera Joint Venture — a gold mine run by Canadian mining giant Barrick Gold Corporation — mountains have been replaced by open pits, mine waste runs into the local river system, and thousands of people live in cramped, overcrowded conditions immediately adjacent to the mine.
The perspectives presented and the issues raised by community members in the film provide an important counter narrative to the promotional materials produced by the mining company. Across the mining industry, companies over emphasize the benefits that their operations bring, without acknowledging the negative impacts and unintended consequences. As a result, the gold mine's harmful effects are often overlooked by those with the power to change policies and practices. Likewise, consumers are often unaware of the true costs of the goods they buy. This film seeks to push back against that trend, placing viewers intimately within the communities that surround the mine.