A documentary about the life and times of Chico Mendes
Narrated by Academy AwardŽ winner Linda Hunt.
Forests of the world are under siege. Cut or burned for short-term profit, they are vanishing at an alarming rate with untold consequences. The heroic effort made by one man in the Brazilian rain forest to protect this valuable resource is the subject of the film, Voice of the Amazon.
This documentary investigates the battle between those who would preserve the unique ecosystem of the Amazon rain forest and those who would exploit it. The story is told through the life and ideas of Chico Mendes, a brave and persistent rubber tapper who challenged the people and institutions responsible for the devastation of the forest. Mendes galvanized local and international support for his vision of a self-sustaining economy of the Amazon, but he enraged powerful enemies.
Through the use of interviews with rubber tappers, politicians, scientists, police and cattle ranchers, Voice of the Amazon explores the complicated issues of rain forest development and witnesses the bitter struggle that cost Chico his life in December of 1988. At the core of the film is Chico himself in one of his last interviews, fighting for the people of the forest and a way of life, sadly aware of his approaching death at the hands of an assassin.
Voice of the Amazon was first broadcast on November 1, 1989, on TBS and again on Earth Day 1990 on TNT. It has been presented on television all around the world.