Biopirates: The Sao Luis Letter| 51mins
Director: Manuele Franceschini | Producer: Manuele Franceschini
Focus Years: 2005 | Country: Chile
In São Luís do Maranhão, Brazil, 23 shamans from as many Native Indian nations challenged all patenting of life forms and traditional knowledge associated to the same, in the moving São Luís Letter. From forests to cities, the natives searched for the tools to defend the biodiversity and their ancient system of knowledge from the multinational pharmaceutical industries. We hear the views of shamans, leaders, native lawyers and western academic thinking in the person of the British researcher Dr. Benjamin Gilbert. The film reveals the old world ways of the Xavante territory. We hear from Vandana Shiva, the Indian thinker, mixing biology, ethics and philosophy. Biopiracy - such a Brazilian theme - is yet so universal. The question is for the first time in history being asked not only by thinkers and philosophers, but also by the common man: to who does nature and human knowledge belong?