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The Shadow of Gold is a global investigation of the ultimate talisman of wealth, beauty and power. Filmed in China, Peru, Canada, the U.S., London, Dubai, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, The Shadow of Gold reveals the impact of gold mining and the gold trade on our economy, environment and conflicts. Watch to discover what our lust for gold costs. And who pays the price.
The Shadow of Gold is a film by Denis Delestrac, Robert Lang and Sally Blake, written by Allen Booth and Denis Delestrac. An international Canada-France coproduction, the film is produced by Robert Lang (Kensington Communications, Canada) and Sally Blake (Films à Cinq and CAPA Presse, France).
The Shadow of Gold is distributed in two forms: a feature documentary and a two-part TV mini-series.
The world premiere of the feature documentary was on February 22 2019 at Toronto’s Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema. The 600 seat theatre was filled to capacity. Most of the appreciative audience stayed for the lively panel discussion that followed the film. For information on past and futures screenings, visit our Screenings Page.
The two-part TV mini-series premiered in Europe on Arte on February 12, 2019 and SVT Sweden soon thereafter. It premiered in North America on TVO on March 13, 2019.
For complete information, visit theshadowofgold.com.
Do you know where the gold in your ring comes from?
The Shadow of Gold takes an unflinching look at how the world’s favourite heavy metal is extracted from the earth. The film explores both sides of the industry: the big-time mining companies that dig deep and lop off mountaintops to extract gold from low-grade ore, and the small-time miners – an estimated 20 million people in the world’s poorest nations – who extract gold by hand, often producing just enough to survive.
We meet back-country guides and entrepreneurs in Montana with deep suspicions about a proposed gold mine that could destroy their pristine wilderness, indigenous people in British Columbia struggling to recover from a spill of toxic mine waste, a woman miner in the Congo who is determined to keep her gold from feeding the flames of war, a brotherhood of Chinese miners, sick with silicosis, fighting a state-owned gold mine for compensation, and an artisanal miner in Peru who knows that the mercury he uses to process gold is toxic and polluting, but feels he has no other option.
And at the top of the supply chain – in London, Dubai and Toronto – we show how conflict gold reaches unaware consumers and how gold-mining corporations are allowed to damage ecosystems with impunity.
The film reveals that glittering gold has a dark shadow. But it doesn’t leave it there. We engage with engineers, scientists, and Fair-Trade advocates who work with miners to tackle gold’s worst environmental and social problems. In an industrial-scale mine, we see new technology that replaces cyanide-based processing with a biological process that leaves no toxic cyanide in the waste. We watch small-scale miners benefit from technology that replaces mercury with an environmentally friendly process that actually produces more gold. We meet Fair Trade jewellers who are committed to transparent supply chain initiatives that ensure consumers know exactly where their gold comes from.
In the end, The Shadow of Gold isn’t all about gold, or even its shadow. The film enters the lives and tells the moving stories of hard-working people who face danger just to go to work every day, in the hope of securing a better life for their families.
A Film by
Music Composed by
Executive Producer TVO
Commissioning Editor – ARTE France
PETER FINDLAY (Nevada)
GERMAN GUTIERREZ (Peru)
Sound for Additional Images
DENNIS HAGGERTY (USA)
PAN HU (China)
MIRELLA ALEXANDRA BELLIDO CASTRILLÓN (Peru)
SEONAID B. CAMPBELL (USA)
IAN MARK KIMANJE (DRC)
FANFAN ZHUANG (China)
JACK LO LAU (Peru)
Animation and motion graphics
THOMAS DELLA MUSSIA
Transcriptions and Translation Services
JOAQUIN MUÑOZ SERRANO
CULTURE CHINE FRANCE
Business Affairs Assistants
DANNY WEBBER (HALL WEBBER LLP)
Alaska State Archives; Artisanal Gold Council; BUNDESBANK; CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh;CBC/Radio-Canada; Dawson City Museum; ERIC IAN PHOTOGRAPHY; Framepool; Getty Images; KStock/Kensington Communications; Lone mountain ranch; MEGAOPERATIVO-MERCURIO, Ministerio del Interior Peru; ©Nobel Media AB 2017; PARK CITY ENVIRONMENT COUNCIL; Pond 5; Rivervoices; Screenocean/Reuters; Shutterstock; Traveling the World from Montana, USA; Yellowstone National Park; AP; Camerapix; Carnegie Airborne Observatory; CHSA; CNN Collection; Journeyman; ScreenOcean; The National; United Nations.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Special Thanks to
DIMITRI LASCARIS; DR. ELLEN PETTICREW; DR. PHILIP OWENS; FRED ROBBINS; JACINDA MACK; KEVIN TELMER; RICHARD HOLMES; KELLY PAYNE; XU DETIAN; WANG CHUNLI; ZHANG WUKUN; XIAO QINGXI; ELENA VOITINSKAYA; ALAN FRAMPTON; ANDREW MAGUIRE; MICHAEL GIBB; MICHAEL JOHN BLOOMFIELD; ROSS NORMAN; SHANTA MARTIN; AARON TEWELL; BONNIE GESTRING; BRYAN WELLS; CORRADO DeGASPERIS; DAVID CHAMBERS; JOSEPH JOSEPHSON; KEN HAKE; ANN LEE; ROGER PETTMAN; ROGER THOMAS; SHANNON KENNY; SHAUN DYKES; SIR FRASER STODDART; JAMES LEDBETTER; ROSA M. ABRANTES-METZ; ARTISANAL GOLD COUNCIL; BC DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES AND OCEANS; CAIBAI JEWELRY; CHICO HOT SPRINGS; COMSTOCK MINING; CRED JEWELLERY; EARTHWORKS; FIRST NATIONS WOMEN ADVOCATING RESPONSIBLE MINING (FNWARM); GLOBAL WITNESS; GREATER YELLOWSTONE COALITION; HOUSE OF SOLID GOLD; LUCKY MINERALS; THE OLD SALOON (MONTANA); QUESNEL RESEARCH CENTRE; SHARPS PIXLEY LTD LONDON; AMJAD RIHAN; BAHEMI MUISA BERTIN; CARLOS MONGE; CHRISPIN VANU; CLAIRE LE BARBENCHON; CRED JEWELRY; FAIR TRADE JEWELLERY COMPANY TORONTO; GLOBAL WITNESS; IIZA JOSE; IMPACT JUST GOLD PROJECT (DRC); ISAAC AFMA; JOHN MANVILLA; KAHAMBU VAHERENIE; KATHLEEN KERR; KESHA FRANK; LISI MAO; LIU CHUANFANG; LOVE SAVE PNEUMOCONIOSIS CHINA; MANUEL ARIQUE; MBURA MATONDI; MUMY MUMBESA; OSCAR CASTILLA; ROBIN GAMBHIR; ROSA M. ABRANTES-METZ; SARAH MOZA; TENDO PENDEZA; THOMAS VARGAS; TOMAS ARIQUE; WU YUQIN; XU AN’NAN; XU BINXI;; XU ZHI; YAO XIAO; ZHAO QINGQIONG; ZUZIA DANIELSKI, BARRY STEVENS, DAVID ACOMBA, SHARON KEOGH
A Canada-France Co-production
Kensington Communications Inc.
Films à Cinq and CAPA Presse
Produced in association with TVO
VP CURRENT AFFAIRS AND DOCUMENTARIES
INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION OFFICER, TVO
Produced in coproduction with ARTE France
UNITE SOCIETE ET CULTURE
POST PRODUCTION CO-ORDINATOR
Produced in collaboration with CANAL D
DIRECTOR ACQUISITIONS, BRAND MANAGER, CANAL D
Maria Luisa Todaro
PRODUCTION MANAGER, CANAL D
Produced in association with
BRITISH COLUMBIA’S KNOWLEDGE NETWORK
SVERIGES TELEVISION AB (SVT)
DOCUMENTARY COMMISSIONING EDITOR, SVT
International distribution provided by NEWEN DISTRIBUTION
With the participation of NRK
Produced with the participation of:
Canada Media Fund
Rogers Documentary Fund
Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit
Centre National du Cinéma et de l’Image Animée
Films à Cinq
© 2019 1971126 ONTARIO INC. /ARTE FRANCE/ FILMS À CINQ / CAPA PRESSE