Monday, September 16th- Sunday, September 22nd, 7:30pm
Documentary in Bloom
Curated by Livia Bloom
U.S. Theatrical Premiere
Price of Gold
Sven Zellner, 2012, 86 min.
Gold: today’s most popular investment product. This astounding film is the first to document the illegal gold-diggers in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert risking their lives for a few grams of the precious mineral. While the speculative market value of gold in the Western world holds little relation to any tangible yardstick, the film describes in very direct and stark images what it means to prospect for gold by hand, in brutal conditions eerily reminiscent of the California Gold Rush during the late 19th- century. In amazingly intimate shots, Sven Zellner shows us the people at the other end of the world who pay the real price of gold.
“The setting is the Gobi Desert, a barren, golden landscape where desperate Mongolian nomads, known as “ninjas,” search for leftover gold veins that the giant international mining companies might have overlooked when they swept through the area years ago. The equipment is crude. The language is foul. They treat women (there is one female cook) like chattel, and each other like dirt. Sven Zellner, an accomplished photographer, spent years earning the trust of this scrappy group, which he follows into the claustrophobic shafts and the cramped quarters of the makeshift tent. His cinematography is breathtaking, and he drives home the inherent dangers of this illegal trade.” —Gayle MacDonald, The Globe and Mail