Segments in this Video

Gold (01:19)


Guinea cut a deal with a multinational corporation granting it access to gold. A man mines a river.

Borneo to Guinea (02:54)

A man lands in a helicopter in Indonesia's Borneo Island and has equipment dismantled. He explains that it will be put back together and goes over their route to Guinea.

Restoration (01:04)

The company has to restore the mine to natural conditions when it is done.

Credits: End of the Rainbow (00:45)

Credits: End of the Rainbow

Hard Manual Labor (02:07)

In Guinea, someone makes pottery. Another person works the garden, hunched over. Everyone works hard, a man explains.

Locals Digging for Gold (02:18)

Traditionally, the people in the area have looked for gold. People are shown digging and weighing gold

Gold and God's Will (02:12)

A man notes that diggers live off the wealth of the ground. The spirits are asked what the mine will bring.

Big Truck (02:48)

Big mining trucks drive through the village.

Locals' Anger (01:31)

A townsperson complains about a truck blocking the road. An authority tells him the truck has the priority, for the good of the state. A large truck barrels down a narrow road, scattering animals.

Preacher's Message (01:18)

At a Muslim service, the preacher explains that a sincere pagan is preferable to an insincere Muslim, emphasizing that it is wrong to falsify the weight of gold.

Unease about Arrival of Whites (01:43)

An airplane lands on a dirt runway; people get off the plane and eat at a modern facility. Locals around a fire hope the whites' arrival will be a good thing.

Glad for Jobs (02:28)

A man makes sure the corporation's trucks have hit only minor trees. Equipment is set up. A local man is grateful for his job and glad the whites have come.

Cautious Optimism of Locals (02:08)

A local man says the people are happy the miners have come, but they are watching them carefully. Set up of the work site continues.

Employment Opportunities (01:33)

A man talks about the job opportunities the mine provides. A man guards a hole, directing traffic away from it.

Promotion (01:47)

A black worker is promoted and congratulated. Around a fire, a man talks about people coming for gold.

Weighing Gold (02:21)

Villagers on the streets inspect and weigh gold. People worry about being cheated.

Source of Gold's Value (01:12)

A local explains that gold's value comes from the fact that we trade it until it reaches white people, who use it in their machines. God created gold.

Corporate Bullying (03:11)

Villagers originally dug the mine, but now corporate security keeps them out. A woman complains that men who used to mine only in dry season now spend all their time at the mines.

Disregard for Village's Interests (02:01)

Corporate officials look at their map and wonder if their machinery will flood the village. At the village, piping is laid. The military is set to demolish a house.

Loss of Property (01:57)

A villager talks about the difficulties of losing his property to the company. A corporate official casually talks about how people here can take resettlement in stride.

Environmental Mitigation and Village School (01:37)

A corporate official, driving through the village, talks about environmental mitigation and building a school for the village.

Children and School (02:13)

A child is asked about his school work. A man talks about his worries about feeding children and wishes they could work at the mine.

Company's Use of Military (02:15)

A military commander is introduced to a corporate official, who explains that they call on the military to deal with any problems with the locals. A local man asks for God's curse upon traitors and swindlers.

Treatment of Workers (02:48)

Mining machinery kicks up clouds of dirt. A supervisor sneaks up on a sleeping worker and berates him. Another man is berated for wearing a hat.

Sneaking Into Mines (02:22)

Villagers sneak into the mines, trying to find and make off with gold before security catches them. They find nothing.

Stealing From Company (03:35)

A boy beat and injured a security guard. He explains his poverty and passionately explains his decision to steal; an authority reprimands him.

Operating Equipment (01:52)

Corporate officials run machinery from behind a computer. A local man talks about motives of people coming to his village.

Recreation (02:57)

White corporate officials in a bar pontificate about society. Black workers dance at a club.

Importance of Mining for Villagers (01:58)

In August, when there are no fresh crops, people go digging for gold to feed their families, a man explains. At a public event, a guitarist sings about justice for the poor; people begin talking about the issue.

Complaints Against Mining Company (02:04)

When women try to help their husbands at the mines, the military chases them away, one woman says. They cut off the road to villagers' land, one man says.

Securing Mines (02:42)

A corporate official explains that they keep women and children away for safety reasons. People are told they are arrested- officials debate whether to involve the military.

Treatment of Illegal Diggers (01:48)

A military official aggressively seizes gold mined by smugglers, who are taken away in a truck. Security people discuss the issue with a corporate official.

Reprimanding Illegal Diggers (01:04)

Officers decide to release women detainees, but not men. A black officer tells smugglers only the white people can have the mine's gold, and they are spoiling Guineans' good name.

Treatment of Detainees (02:24)

A black officer argues that the whites bought and legitimately own the mines. Arrested miners are locked on a train; their heads stick out small holes.

Mine Tragedy Recalled (02:47)

Outside his hut, a man talks about his wife dying in the mine. She went because she saw that he was struggling to provide for his kids, he says.

Scenes of Life (01:30)

Guards wave a truck through a checkpoint. Other brief scenes of life near the mines are shown.

Reflections on Life with Mining Corporation (02:26)

Two white men talk in a small but modern kitchen, about constantly moving around the world for the mining corporation, and idly reflect on life.

Processing Gold (02:09)

From a birds-eye view, we see an explosion kick up dust. Underground, we watch a furnace melt down gold. Dirt is hammered off a gold bar., which is scrubbed with water.

Transporting Gold (02:47)

Gold is packaged. Security officials rush it to a helicopter, which takes off from a dirt runway. A local man talks about what he would do if he found gold, such as buying a wife for a poor man.

Sponsors & Credits: End of the Rainbow (00:50)

Sponsors & Credits: End of the Rainbow

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End of the Rainbow

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In 2005, the Republic of Guinea sold its interest in one of the richest gold fields in the world to an Anglo-Canadian combine. Mining equipment in Borneo was dismantled and reassembled in West Africa, causing massive upheavals to a traditional way of life—some that eventually benefited local communities, but most to the advantage of the corporation and Guinea’s ruling elite. This program documents the transfer of the mine, providing an unusually balanced look at the impact of industrialization on resident populations and their economy, traditions, and environment. 

Length: 84 minutes

Item#: BVL49797

Copyright date: ©2007

Closed Captioned

Reviews & Awards

“Shows the cultural fault-lines between mines and communities, but also the range of actors who help negotiate these fault-lines. It gives a good feel for many issues that could be productively elaborated on in class or activist discussions.”  —Anthony Bebbington, Institute for Development Policy and Management, University of Manchester 


“An amazing audio and visual journey into the center of contemporary social, environmental, and economic conflicts surrounding gold mining in Africa.”  —Jeffrey Bury, University of California, Santa Cruz

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