DOXA 2016 review: We Call Them Intruders


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      What if Canadians found out that they were unwittingly associated with unethical mining practices in Africa? How would we perceive ourselves after discovering our part in displacing local villagers, disrupting workforces, or causing unsafe living conditions and even deaths?

      Vancouver-based filmmakers Tamara Herman and Susi Porter-Bopp’s confrontational film takes a look at how Canada is implicated in this controversial industry. Almost 75 percent of the world’s mining companies are based here, many of which demonstrate apparently no serious concern for the locals in developing nations affected by their work.

      Herman and Porter-Bopp travel to Eastern and Southern Africa to reveal the dark realities of how Canadian tax dollars, CPP contributions, and investments are directly used to upkeep the repulsive practices of big mining corporations. Through interviews with local villagers, activists, and government officials, along with animated graphic, viewers learn the cold, hard truth of Canadian involvement with profit-hungry mining companies.

      The locals are called “intruders”—displaced mine workers who scavenge through discarded waste looking for bits of trace material to sell, in order to buy meagre amounts of food to survive. But after watching this raw and candid film, the audience will know exactly who the real intruders are.