Shot during the 7 months of the Brazilian sugar cane harvest, the film
portrays the life of what may be the last generation of Brazil's 800,000
sugar cane cutters. In 2000, an environmental law approved by the National
Congress ruled that by 2015, practically all the cane harvest has to
be mechanized. The burning of the 4.5 million acres of cane, which eases
the work of the cutter, will have to be slowly eliminated by the next
14 years. Machines that cut an equivalent of 200 men a day are substituting
workers, who cut manually over 38,000 pounds each of sugar cane a day.
Social problems in small cane-dependent towns are arising. Thousands
of men and women are being laid off. There has been a decrease in supply
of sugar, increasing demand and prices internationally.
Born in São Paulo, Brazil, 1969, Jorge Wolney Atalla studied
Economics at the University of Texas at Austin. From there, the director
traveled to Europe, living in Paris, Madrid, and attending an MBA program
at the Business School Lausanne, in Switzerland. After completing his
MBA degree, he moved to Japan. At the end of 1998, he moved to New York,
to study at the New York Film Academy. His graduation project was a
short film called "Princess", winning a Chris Award at the Columbus
International Film Festival. Moving to Brazil in 1999, he began the
production of his first feature length documentary "In Cane for Life".
Yukon Film Works
Rua Helena 275, cj. 31
Sao Paulo, Brasil 04552-050
All material copyright 2001 UNAFF