A Wild Idea explores Ecuador's unprecedented proposal for
fighting global warming and preserving a large area of pristine
rainforest from oil development – called the Yasuni-ITT Initiative.
exchange for compensation from the world community, Ecuador pledges to
leave untouched a large oil reserve, the ITT block with over 850 million
barrels of oil. If the proposal succeeds, it will protect one of the
most bio-diverse places on Earth, respect the rights of two of the last
nomadic indigenous cultures who live there, and avoid the emission of
over 400 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. Exploiting the ITT
oil reserve seemed a logical step that Ecuador had to take, as a
relatively poor country that depends upon oil for a large percentage of
its revenue. But political changes have transformed the way the country
views oil development.
The film takes the viewer to the Yasuní
National Park in the Ecuadorian Amazon, capturing the rainforest’s
stunning biodiversity and profiling the tribes that live there. Through
rich archival footage and commentary from government officials,
environmentalists and others, A Wild Idea shows how the seemingly
utopian ideal of keeping valuable oil underground turned into an
official proposal. The political twists and turns that made the proposal
possible could also threaten the success of this revolutionary idea.
A Wild Idea
is a thought-provoking film that explores the complexity of
contemporary oil development within a fragile ecosystem, and how
creative, new approaches might be of significant local and global
Reviews & Awards"Editor's Choice. Highly Recommended. A great starting point for a group discussion on the politics of conservation and biodiversity. The facts are presented clearly and objectively....."
- Science Books and Films (AAAS)
"Highly Recommended. Compelling.... could be put to productive use in a variety of classroom settings. Its brevity, and the audacity and boldness of the proposal, provide an ideal way for instructors to begin discussions about the environmental challenges and tradeoffs involved in global economic development."
– Educational Media Reviews Online
"Valuable for students studying environmental issues.The Yasuni National Park in the Amazon region of Ecuador is one of the most biologically diverse areas of the world. Of special interest is the archival and contemporary footage of the people living within this region and their history of exploitation by Western institutions."
-School Library Journal
"What if we actually left resources unused? That is the wild, almost heretical idea examined in this very interesting film. From the point of view of the local native peoples and the environment, the idea is not so wild at all. Suitable for high school classes and college courses in cultural anthropology, development anthropology, environmental anthropology, and Latin American/Amazonian studies, as well as for general audiences."
–Anthropology Review Database
“A thought-provoking film...shows how the seemingly utopian ideal of keeping valuable oil underground turned into an official proposal – and the audience sees what’s at stake if the proposal is not accepted.”
– Reel Earth Film Festival, New Zealand