An absorbing, intuitive expose of the frictions between industry and inhabitants in the Republic of Azerbaijan, Martin Maracek’s “Source” follows the twin springs of oil and money as it reveals the ecological nightmare the region has become. Produced for the Prague traffic awareness movement Auto*Mat, pic will flow from its aud award at the city’s One World Human Rights Film Fest to like-minded global events and cable berths.
From the p.o.v. of the smug apparatchiks in Baku boardrooms to the p.o.v. of the furious peasant whose fields are bisected by the massive Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan pipeline project, docu looks at the checkered history and suspicious motivations of players involved in extracting black crude from these rich fields. “Oil is not dangerous,” insists one farmer, as his cows graze near pools of it. “By no means do we want to impair the ecosystem,” ripostes a glib bureaucrat, despite evidence to the contrary. Questions surrounding the legitimacy of the 2003 election of president Ilham Aliyev are raised, while human rights abuses are explored. Simple, effective animation by Petr Smalec bookend and link the pic’s three sections.