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Title: Strong Roots: The Landless Worker's Movement in Brazil (Raiz Forte)

Media: VHS

Year: 2003  1999

Length: 41 min

Filmmaker: Maisa Mendonca

Description:

Strong Roots - Brazilís Landless Workerís Movement (41 min, 2001) Pedro, Antonio, and Luis joined Brazil's Landless Workers Movement in search of a piece of land, dignity in their lives, and justice in their society. Through their memories and their day- to-day lives in Pernambuco and Bahia, they bring us a personal portrait one of the most vital social movement in Latin America today. The Landless Workers Movement (MST) started in 1985 to correct the extremely unequal concentration of land in Brazil. There, 1% of large landholders control 46% of agricultural land. Of the 400 million hectares of arable land, only 60 million are used for planting crops; 4.8 million families have no land, while 35 million Brazilians live in poverty. Over the past 15 years, the Landless Workers Movement has won 20 million hectares of land for 300,000 families and built thousands of food production cooperatives and schools. These land occupations bring new life to people without hope. And they pressure the Brazilian government to implement agrarian reform. The MST land redistribution is grounded in Brazilian Constitutional law, which decrees that land must fulfill a "social function." Today, nearly 100,000 families prepare to occupy land in order to feed themselves. They live under plastic tents, by the roads, waiting for their chance to work and produce. They are the soldiers on the front line in the battle for Brazil's future.