VIFF 2014: Marmato works on every level

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      Marmato (Colombia/USA)  

      Mark Grieco’s gripping documentary is that rare film about resistance that works on all personal, political, and aesthetic levels. He immerses himself in the tiny titular town, perched precariously high on a mountain where its people have mined gold, using much the same methods, for 500 years. It’s a picturesque place, all crooked, ice-cream-hued shacks surrounded by mist and lush foliage, where fathers head deep into sweaty, dangerous tunnels to put their kids through school. But as Grieco shows in an effective, recurring graph burned into rock by a miner’s lamp, the economics of gold attract international investment and government greed that threaten to wipe the town off the face of the earth.

      SFU, September 28 (9 p.m.) and 29 (1:15 p.m.); Rio, October 2 (2 p.m.) 

      Follow Janet Smith on Twitter at @janetsmitharts.