The Hungarian documentary that took fifteen years to make: 300 Tonnes of Gold

The documentary New Eldorado by Béla Balázs Award-winning director Tibor Kocsis is among the works that have garnered the most prizes in the last 15 years. The story of Verespatak continues in the film 300 Tonnes of Gold, whose gala premiere, attended by Hungarian President János Áder, has attracted a full house as the introductory event of the 2016 Budapest Water Summit.

The story of Verespatak, a village in Transylvania, has been a cause for concern for the entire world for almost twenty years – and Tibor Kocsis has played a significant part in that being the case. His documentary has put this 2000-year-old settlement, where the Rosia Montana Gold Corporation wants to open a gold mine, in the focus of attention. The company has acquired a long-term lease of the plot that hides over 300 tonnes of gold and 1600 tonnes of silver. In order to gain access to the metals in the ground, they plan to use great quantities of cyanide and dynamite every day over a planned course of 17 years.

New Eldorado generated tremendous international cooperation: the European Parliament, in response to a motion by János Áder, who was an MEP at the time, banned the use of cyanide in mining in 2010. In the meantime, UNESCO put Verespatak on the list of World Heritage site candidates.

“I have always had faith in the power of art and cooperation to move mountains. Today, I also know that such power and cooperation is also capable of stopping mountains from being moved”, said Tibor Kocsis in his opening remarks at the gala premiere.

 

A one-hour made-for-TV version of the film 300 Tonnes of Gold was shown at an exclusive viewing as an opening event of the 2016 Budapest World Water Summit. A longer, two-hour cinematic version will have its public premiere next year. A number of foreign television channels have also expressed their interest in the film.