Claudio Carbone’s new documentary: “Hasta que Muera el Sol” (“Until The Sun Dies”), denounces the loss of territory of the Terraba Indians, despite the fact that the Indigenous Law of Costa Rica protects them. He also shares a real example of environmental commitment.
In 1977, the Indigenous Law was approved in Costa Rica, a legislative project that considers the right of indigenous peoples to their traditional territories. This means that these spaces are inalienable, imprescriptible, non-transferable and exclusive to them.
They say that paper can hold everything, but the documentary “Until The Sun Dies” by Claudio Carbone shows that laws are made with the same quality as words: they are blown away by the wind.
No real interest
This highlights Costa Rica, which has made ecology its country brand. That is why it is impressive when Adan, one of the protagonists of the film, expresses fed up: “The government is shit, they are not interested in our territory. Their only interests is money”.
With its territory it refers to Térraba, one of the eight indigenous communities that inhabit the Tico country. Adan dreams of creating a sustainable farm, while Byron is concerned with preserving the traditions of the village, especially the language that no one speaks fluent anymore.
But there is a danger that looms over the Terraba: the loss of their territory. Despite being protected by the state, this has not prevented it from being illegally occupied by farmers, logging companies or hydroelectric projects.
A complex situation
Although the situation is much more complex, since the old wise men question the authority of the indigenous territories, since some of their leaders are non-indigenous people and they make arbitrary decisions that affect the real struggle. They also question their own commitment to the territory when they say that many “prostitute the people for five colones”, referring to the official currency of Costa Rica.
Although beyond the complaints, “Until The Sun Dies” stands out for its environmental teachings. Adan visits Paulino Nájera, known as the architect of the forest, to see his work on the San Andrés farm.
At some point during the tour, while talking about sustainability, Nájera tells Adam: “You have to grow two things, food but also spirituality”, hinting that the environmental crisis is the result of a spiritual crisis.
Byron, meanwhile, hears an old Terraba legend about Sibö, an ancient indigenous god who punished his people after they built a house that advanced further than it should have. So Sibö expelled them and forced them to search beyond their borders for the heart of the earth. Only until then could they return home and rest in peace.
Our responsibility too
The allusion to the title is also an important teaching: the Terrraba have a habit of working tirelessly from sunrise to sunset. Because of their culture, they consider the defense of the land part of their work. Maybe we should get involved in the same way, after all it’s our responsibility too.