After living in the United States for decades, Brazilian geographer Camila decides to return to her native state of Minas Gerais when a mining-related environmental disaster strikes the area. A dam burst, destroying several villages with heavily polluted wastewater from an iron ore mine. In this documentary road movie, Camila shows how mining has shaped the state’s history.
The train she arrives on bears the name of the mining company. Through the window, we see a vast iron ore quarry. Mining is everywhere. It is also present in the writing of Brazil’s most famous poet, Carlos Drummond de Andrade, who was from this region—his poems describe the price the population has paid for the large-scale extraction and export of raw materials.
The voiceover is often poetic, despite the appalling reality. As Camila travels through the ravaged landscape, meeting victims and activists, she realizes that the disaster is not an isolated incident, and that lives are literally at stake. Minas Gerais has become a ticking time bomb.