La Buena Vida - The Good Life

8.21 h 33 min2015ALL
The village of Tamaquito lies deep in the forests of Colombia. Here, nature provides the people with everything they need. But the Wayúu community's way of life is being destroyed by the vast and rapidly growing El Cerrejón coal mine. Determined to save his community from forced resettlement, the leader Jairo Fuentes negotiates with the mine's operators which soon becomes a fight to survive.
Jens Schanze
DocumentarySpecial Interest
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Jens SchanzeFrank Matter
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3.9 out of 5 stars

23 global ratings

  1. 56% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 15% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 11% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 0% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 18% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

ChrisSherrillReviewed in the United States on July 22, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
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Wayuunaiki and Spanish with English subtitles.
“The Good Life” must be an ironic title, unless it refers to the mine owners and their shareholders. If you have ever wondered why some people, typically poor people, come to hate capitalism, watch this documentary. Capitalism can benefit both the owners and the employees, suppliers, etc., but the problem is greed. The owners and stockholders so often let greed become the one and only motivation, and then they cannot understand why the poor hate them. This 2015 documentary left me unsatisfied. Did Cerrejon ever live up to its agreements or was the Wayuu community left without a sufficient water supply? Hoping to find an answer, I checked Wikipedia and found that “in June 2020, lawyers for the local Wayuu community lodged a request to the United Nations special rapporteur for work to be immediately halted over environmental and human rights concerns.” So, I guess Cerrejon has still not met its contractual obligations. Shame on them.
I would have given five stars but I almost never give five to a film one has to read.
7 people found this helpful
JujuReviewed in the United States on August 13, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Knowledge will set you free but it may not make you feel comfortable.
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This film is about coal but it could be about the clothes we wear or the medicine we take. Pick a commodity increasingly we Americans live because a giant corporation exploits poor people increases the suffering of poor people or just dramatically shortens the lives of the poor. This is a compelling example of the cavalier disregard Big Business has for any group that limits it's profits. Learn from this and act to ensure that these behaviors do not continue. If you have a child in your life this would be an important lesson for any child from 8 on up. They say knowledge will set you free but it also sets others free. The only way we can thrive in a global community is to be our Brothers keepers. For the sake of mankind see this movie.
19 people found this helpful
DOBIECKI & SMITH ARCHITECTSReviewed in the United States on September 7, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
The Good Life of the Cerrejon Owners
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This movie is to denunciate the breach of contract by El Cerrejon to the Wayuu community of Tamaquito II. While all the owners of El Cerrejon enjoy the benefits of the coal mining process, a community in La Guajira, Colombia, was promised a better living conditions in order to agree by contract to move to Tamaquito II. Who will enforce the contract or the penalties for breaching it? It breaks my heart to see how a monster corporation takes advantage of people of my native land; yes, I am from Colombia, and I have seen the poverty of the Wayuu community, specially the children that place tolls along their territories to all the tourists, asking for candies ONLY. You read it right: They don't ask for money; they ask for candies!
13 people found this helpful
rsReviewed in the United States on May 2, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
yet a beautiful film worthy of mention to family and friends
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Tragic, depressing, yet a beautiful film worthy of mention to family and friends. La Buena Vida is a documentary describing Native Colombianos struggling with the industrialization of their forest- lined life. As a former ignorant human of 'everything coal', this was an incredibly insightful peer into the devastation harvesting coal truly is; absolutely fanning the flame of my seemingly granola ways, whilst tugging at my heartstrings. If you are 'in' for an eye- opener, this is absolutely a must-see.
8 people found this helpful
Ricardo NavarroReviewed in the United States on October 5, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
European Tradition: Pillage and Plunder in the 21st Century
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This film shows what is taking place all around the planet with natural resources, Pillage and Plunder. The communities that suffer most and get relocated are typically in some third world country such as Colombia,. US and European politicians love these corrupt governments that allow for this crime to take place. Rich communities due to their area natural resources yet their population live in absolute poverty while US and European friendly politicians surrender the wealth of these nations. Most of the pain caused it is due to supported governments and corporate corruption but also due to the extraction of these resources such as it takes place in this documentary with coal in this case.
3 people found this helpful
yvonne rappaportReviewed in the United States on October 7, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Global Leeches!
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My heart bleeds for the trusting Wayuu people. This entire world is descending to depths that will soon be irreversible. While I was watching the events of the "coal company con" unfold, I wanted to shout out to the indigenous Wayuu people "don't believe them, they're lying to you"! How sad is man's inhumanity to man for the sake of a few more pesos/ dollars.
9 people found this helpful
KRReviewed in the United States on October 4, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Work of art.
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Beautifully and lovingly made documentary. Slowly, it tells a story of an indigenous community before, during, and after a relocation due to an encroaching open-pit coal mine. The scenery, the dialogue, and the juxtaposition of the power of the giant corporation vs. the carefully balanced and fragile life of the tribe is masterfully done. You know the story, of course--it's happened all over the world--but this will not disappoint.
6 people found this helpful
Daniel VelasquezReviewed in the United States on November 30, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
One of many disgraceful events, shown through a graceful lens.
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Very well done film. Unfortunately, most communities that go through similar stories don't have an amazing team of people and cameras following their "relocation" process. It is sad to see that there is no more support from the respective government to support these people groups but are left to deal with such battles alone. The last bit of the movie, well portrays what is happening on a global scale where a few look at the numbers ignoring the others that are suffering due to their practices. More films like these should be done to bring awareness to the public of what is really going on.
3 people found this helpful
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