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  • Nov 3-5

Red Gold

The Bris­tol Bay region of south­west Alas­ka is home to the Kvichak and Nusha­gak rivers, the two most pro­lif­ic sock­eye salmon runs left in the world. Two min­ing com­pa­nies, North­ern Dynasty Min­er­als and Anglo Amer­i­can, have pro­posed an open-pit and under-ground mine at the head­wa­ters of the two rivers. The area has the sec­ond largest deposit of cop­per, gold and molyb­de­num ever dis­cov­ered, with an esti­mat­ed val­ue over $300 bil­lion. Despite promis­es of a clean project by min­ing offi­cials, the acci­dent-plagued his­to­ry of hard rock min­ing has wrought one of the biggest land use con­tro­ver­sies Alas­ka has ever faced. Red Gold gives a face to the issue, and a voice to the peo­ple who depend on this extra­or­di­nary fish­ery. This doc­u­men­tary gives all sides a chance to be seen and heard. For the first time, Bris­tol Bay’s sub­sis­tence, com­mer­cial and sport-fish­ing com­mu­ni­ties have joined togeth­er for a com­mon cause.

Imag­ine a pris­tine Alaskan water­shed with the most pro­duc­tive Sock­eye salmon rivers in the world, teem­ing with mil­lions of native fish push­ing up riv­er to spawn. Now imag­ine the world’s largest open pit gold and cop­per mine at their head­wa­ters. This film by co-direc­tors Travis Rum­mel and Ben Knight has done much to bring Alaska’s Peb­ble Min­ing con­tro­ver­sy to the fore­front of pub­lic con­scious­ness.  The film fol­lows the sub­sis­tence and com­mer­cial salmon fish­er­men of Bris­tol Bay, Alas­ka, as they work tire­less­ly to make their liv­ing off the land and water, and com­bat the pro­posed open pit gold and cop­per Peb­ble Mine.  It explores the grow­ing bat­tle between those who depend on this extra­or­di­nary fish­ery for a liv­ing, the min­ing com­pa­nies who are push­ing for Peb­ble, and the polit­i­cal frame­work that will ulti­mate­ly decide the outcome.

Run­ning time:  54 minutes