Death By A Thousand Cuts

Directed by: Juan Mejia Botero & Jake Kheel
USA | Dominican Republic | 73 minutes
VUE Piccadilly
Pic. 3
Sat 1st Oct 17:45

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The brutal murder of Dominican park ranger Eligio Eloy Vargas sparked a cross-border debate between the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Vargas, otherwise known as Melaneo, was believed to have been investigating an illegal charcoal production site run by Haitians coming across the border. With stunning cinematography, Death By A Thousand Cuts explores the circumstances of Melaneo’s death as well as the slow decay of Dominican forests. The film weaves in different perspectives of Melaneo’s story, introducing us to his Haitian wife Calina and brother Chichi who recount their memories of him and detail their agonising time trying to get justice from a government who refuse to acknowledge that his death was murder. In parallel, the film also explores the larger backdrop of tensions between the Dominican Republic and Haiti due to the illegal charcoal trafficking trade. As the film digs deeper into these issues, the idyllic stringed music that accompanies speeds up and directors Juan Mejia Botero and Jake Kheel takes us on a journey to explore the darker undertones of a complex socio-political issue that persists between both countries. The result is a picturesque, thought-provoking documentary that warns of the imminent dangers in the trade.
USA/Dominican Republic
Juan Mejia Botero
Jake Kheel
Juan Carlos Castañeda
Jake Kheel
Ben Selkow
Executive Producer(s)
Jeff Skoll
Belisa Balaban
Christy Spitzer Thornton
Isaac Lee
Juan Rendon
Eric Douat
Screening Status
European Premiere
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