(68 minutes 28 seconds) Brazil
Director/Producer: Jorge Wolney Atalla
UNAFF screening schedule


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".

Jorge Wolney Atalla
Yukon Film Works
Rua Helena 275, cj. 31
Sao Paulo, Brasil 04552-050

All material copyright 2001 UNAFF