El Poder del Pueblo

Puerto Rico

Running time: 41 minutes - Language: Spanish w/English subtitles - Year:

Official Trailer

Film Summary

El poder del pueblo: una lucha colectiva por la vida y el medioambiente (The Power of the People: A Collective Struggle for Life and the Environment) features the experiences of Jobos Bay residents in southeastern Puerto Rico. Community members strive to live good lives, while resisting the ongoing toxic assault caused by power plants and other extractivist industries that poison human and more-than-human bodies in this beautiful region and ecosystem. The Jobos Bay area residents featured in this film record and amplify their voices by literally taking power into their own hands, confronting environmental racism and injustice. El poder del pueblo documents grave problems and urgent alternatives in the form of solar community projects that transform both electric and people power. As a methodological intervention and a form of refusal, film production team members challenge (neo)colonial filmmaking and research that often targets their communities via the extraction of images, stories, and testimonies. El poder del pueblo is by and for the Jobos Bay community and was made with support from longtime coalitional partners in the US Puerto Rican diaspora. These collective energies radically reimagine community documentary work and join with other people and places throughout the world struggling for self-determined environmental, climate, and energy justice.

Category: Environmental Racism/Justice

Coming soon!

Filmmaker

José Luis Baerga Aguirre

José Luis Baerga Aguirre studied in the Escuela de Artes Plásticas de Puerto Rico. His first introduction to cinema started with a community organization that screened a short film called “Hasta el tope,” which was produced by a collective composed of community residents from Salinas, Puerto Rico. With the same community spirit, he worked on his first documentary “Las Gladiolas,” which describes the evictions of families in public housing in the Hato Rey area. In another project, the documentary “Villa Esperanza Existe” tells how communities in the south of Puerto Rico’s largest island defend their homes against the threat of evictions caused by the construction of the “gasoducto del sur” pipeline. “Los Delfines del Parking” is his first feature film of fiction that was produced with the same community spirit; this film tells the story of a threatened community from the perspective of community children. Finally, “El poder del pueblo” is his latest work as a director. This documentary documents how people live in Puerto Rico’s south and struggle against the presence of two of the most contaminating power facilities in Puerto Rico’s largest island, the thermoelectric complex in Aguirre and the AES coal-fired power plant in Guayama. 

José Luis Baerga Aguirre estudió en la Escuela de Artes Plásticas de Puerto Rico. Su acercamiento al cine comenzó como un llamado a la organización comunitaria con un cortometraje llamado “Hasta el tope”, el cual fue producido por un colectivo compuesto por residentes de varias comunidades del pueblo de Salinas, Puerto Rico. Con el mismo espíritu comunitario trabajó su primer documental “Las Gladiolas” el cual cuenta el proceso de desalojo de las familias que vivían en dicho residencial público del área de Hato Rey tras el anuncio de plan de implosión.  Por otra parte, el documental “Villa Esperanza Existe” cuenta la manera en que comunidades del sur de la isla defendieron sus viviendas ante la amenaza de  desalojo por la construcción del llamado gasoducto del sur.  “Los Delfines del Parking” es su primer largometraje de ficción que fue producido con el mismo espíritu comunitario; éste cuenta la historia de una comunidad amenazada de expropiación desde la mirada de niños y niñas de la comunidad.  Finalmente, “El poder del pueblo” es su último trabajo como director. Este documental nos relata cómo se vive en el sur de Puerto Rico ante la presencia de las plantas generadoras de energía eléctrica más contaminantes de la isla, la central termoeléctrica en Aguirre y la planta de carbón AES en Guayama.