EXCLUSIVE: Playing out like a neonoir premise with all too terrible stakes, the documentary Death By A Thousand Cuts charts the dangers and chaos of mass deforestation, and escalating human conflict in the border region between the Dominican Republic and Haiti over charcoal trafficking. Beginning with a Dominican Republican park ranger’s gruesome murder, the film examines the lives of the people on both sides of the border and the human, economic, and environmental price paid by those affected by these activities. Watch the official trailer above.
“The film, at its core, is a cautionary tale of how the increasingly fierce competition for natural resources combined with swelling wealth inequality can create fertile ground for civil strife,” directors Juan Mejia Botero and Jake Kheel told Deadline. “Even when initially represented as ethnic conflicts, if we step back and examine some of the world’s most recent international tragedies, we’ll often find this combination of factors at their center. The rising tensions between Haiti and the Dominican Republic are one example.”
Death By A Thousand Cuts is produced by Ben Selkow. It has its world premiere during Toronto’s Hot Docs Film Festival in the International Spectrum section. The festival runs April 28-May 8.