Copper Age
"This is not crime, this is mining industry"

New documentary about privatization of copper mining industry in Zambia. Documentary inspection analyzes whom the European public money serve in underdeveloped African country.

Director: Ivo Bystřičan
Dramaturgy: Martin Mareček
Theme and scenario: Ivo Bystřičan, Martin Mareček
Cinematographer: Jiří Málek
Editor: Martin Mareček
Contact sound: Ivo Bystřičan
Sound mix: Václav Flegl
Executive producer: Tereza Horská
Producers: Hypermarket Film, s.r.o., CEE Bankwatch Network
Sales: Hypermarket Film s.r.o., Osadní 6,
170 00 Praha 7, Czech Republic,

T: +420 222 937 341,

Czech Republic/2010/54 min/16:9 


Special Prize of the Jury, Ostrava Picture 2010

2nd Prize for the Best Ecological Film, Jahorina Film Festival 2010, Pale, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Movie profile on IMDb

Watch or buy the movie on Docalliance

Movie was inspired by the book
on copper mines privatization in Zambia by

Alastair Fraser and John Lungu.
It is called For Whom The Windfalls
and you can download it here for free.

For whom the windfalls Zambia.pdf For whom the windfalls Zambia.pdf
Size : 1719.625 Kb
Type : pdf

Copper Age, a Czech documentary film by Ivo Bystrican, shows the influence of EU subsidies on Zambia and its inhabitants.

The film-makers went to Zambia to shoot a film on the situation in local copper mines situated in the Copperbelt area. The local mining companies draw EU money that should help develop this African country. However, the profits from the mines end outside Zambia.

The film director did not use shots typical for documentaries from developing countries.

Instead of scenes illustrating the locals’ poverty and suffering, he tried to reveal the functioning of the European subsidies system and its interconnection with the institutions in Europe, for instance the European Investment Bank (EIB).

The film-makers were brought to Zambia by an offer of the Bankwatch international NGO that assesses the projects of the EIB, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

“I have been interested in privatisation and the interconnection between the African and our economies for a long time. I originally studied social politics and sociology and I have focused on issues of the society’s economic functioning and the economic impact on people since the first year at FAMU (Film Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague), says director.

Before the shooting, the film-makers spent six months gathering all available information about the copper mines and the privatisation of mines in Zambia.

After they arrived in Africa, they met people who were fired from the mines as well as their current employees.

"It was very difficult to make them speak about their work since they were afraid of losing their jobs if they talk to film-makers," Bystrican said.

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