Rape. Does that grab your attention? I might have said genocide. Rape unnerves us more because anyone can feel close to the shivering possibility of someone near and dear. Genocide tends to be too far away and too much to digest.
Indians, excuse me, Native Americans, are marginal people. I might have gotten fancy and said indigenous people, but then global notions start sneaking in. Next thing you know, someone starts talking environmental justice and global responsibility and everything goes to New World Order in a handbasket.
In the documentary film “Standing on Sacred Ground: Profit and Loss,” there are no actual rape victims. Corporations and governments only figuratively violate thousands of years of presence, culture, spirit and viability. There is no actual genocide. The human beings from the top to the bottom of corporations and governments are simply engaging in survival of the fittest (or is it survival of the most righteous; anyway, you can’t tell the players without a scorecard). It’s the way it’s always been. We’re just streamlining our knack for it.
Profit is merely profit. It’s how progress gets us smartphones, air conditioning, and hardware stores the size of small cities. You think we don’t have to get copper and nickel mined somewhere? We can’t go back to the Stone Age. You think we’re really going to trade the smooth hum of gas and oil engineering for the disturbing screech of socialistic renewables?
Besides, this film is railing about Papua New Guinea. Most of you don’t know where Papua New Guinea is. OK, the film is also ranting about Canada, but it’s northern Canada.
Loss, well, there’s a cost to everything. It’s counter-productive making a big deal about who suffers the brunt of the loss. It’s mostly collateral damage anyway. It isn’t as if such losses are indicative of what sooner or later violates everybody.
How do you define sacred? How do you defile sacred? The Wild & Scenic Film Festival presents four “Standing on Sacred Ground” episodes. See “Profit and Loss.” See “Pilgrims and Tourists.” “Islands of Survival” and “Fire and Ice” are pretty good, too.