What is the dark side of Canada

Documentary "Dark Eden"The dark side of paradise

Blue lakes, dense, green forests, salmon, bears, deer - this is what Canada looks like that is printed in tourism advertisements. It is like a garden of Eden. The documentary filmmaker Jasmin Herold shows the dark side of the supposed paradise in her film "Dark Eden". She lived and filmed in Fort McMurray for more than two years. So-called oil sands are mined there. The whole city lives from the oil companies. People from all over the world come to the place. Herold's protagonists also come from all over the world. In her film she tells the stories of a Ugandan cleaning man, an indigenous worker and the German mechanic Markus.

"I made a conscious decision not to let experts and activists have their say. Then a wall would have been built between the protagonists and the audience and you could have leaned back and relaxed in the cinema chair and said: 'They do bad things there, destroy them Environment - and the experts confirm that '", documentary filmmaker Jasmin Herold told the Dlf.

We spoke a little longer with Jasmin Herold - you can hear the long version of the Corso conversation here

She was very interested in the personal life and work situation of her protagonists and thus gained their trust. Her husband ran the theater on location during the filming. "He led a double life. When he wasn't working on the film, he went to the office and had to thank the oil companies when they sponsored a play or an event," said Herold.

Biblical fire didn't change anything

The greatest challenge for her personally was, on the one hand, to do justice to the people and, on the other hand, not to ignore the environmental disasters.

When there was a fire of biblical proportions in 2016, more than 25,000 people did not return to Fort McMurray, but nothing changed for everyone else. "It continues," said Herold. She herself changed a lot after her return. She no longer drives a car, uses bicycles or public transport, goes shopping at the market and is happy that there is the "Fridays for Future" movement. "It gives me the feeling that my film is not pointless."

Statements by our interlocutors reflect their own views. Deutschlandfunk does not adopt statements made by its interlocutors in interviews and discussions as its own.