a Yorgos Avgeropoulos documentary project, SMALL PLANET (52’), ARTE GEIE, ERT – September 2017
SUBJECT & SYNOPSIS
Cities, regions and countries all around the world are increasingly rejecting the water privatization model they had adopted for years and are remunicipalizing services in order to take back public control over water and sanitation management. In many cases, this shift is due to the false promises of private operators who have proven to be unwilling to put the needs of communities before their own profit.
Water remunicipalization is a global growing trend which is reshaping the global water sector. In crisis-stricken Europe, Paris and Berlin have recently taken back public control over their water. But at the same time, however, the European Commission through the Troika demands from the countries of the European South to privatize their water services. Public operators mainly in Greece and Portugal are constantly under attack. Provisions about water can be found in every M.o.U, Greece, Ireland and Portugal have signed with the Troika.
Between corporate and public interests, EU politics, austerity and debt-ridden countries Up to the Last Drop unveils an underground long-standing water war in Europe, which is still in progress.
At a time when Europe is going through a crisis that is not solely economical but also a crisis of moral values, millions of European citizens demand a response to a crucial question: is water for the European Union a commercial product or a human right? Until today, European institutions have not given a clear answer. A vast gap seems to separate their rhetoric from their daily practice.
Based on extensive research that began in January 2013, Up to the Last Drop builds the plot in six member states of the EU. A stark contrast lies in the heart of this affair: In times of crisis, countries like Germany and France that had tested the water privatization model are now gaining back public control of their water systems while at the same time they are pushing the countries of the European South to privatize their water management.
Six different stories in six different countries (Greece, Ireland, France, Germany, Belgium, and Portugal) are interwoven and evolve in parallel throughout the film. Their leading characters are key personalities of the European water affairs – politicians, insiders, Brussels bureaucrats, company executives, European citizens and activists. Through inventive photography and graphics, dynamic editing, original music and narration, a revelatory and balanced film is created on a topic that concerns us all: the public or private management of a natural monopoly on which depends our very existence.
Up to the Last Drop is a documentary film about water that reflects contemporary European values and the quality of the current European democracy.
Director / Yorgos Avgeropoulos is a Greek documentary filmmaker and journalist known for the numerous social and political documentaries he has directed in more than 50 countries and which have won 40 awards in international film festivals as well as other distinctions all over the world. His latest films, The Lost Signal of Democracy (2014) and AGORA – From Democracy to the Market (2015) were broadcasted by TV networks in Europe, the US, the Middle East, Asia and Australia and multi-awarded in film festivals.
Production house / Small Planet is one of the most active documentary production companies in Greece. Small Planet has produced more than 100 films, some of which in the most remote and dangerous places on the planet, awarded with international prizes in numerous film festivals. The company has collaborated with tens of TV networks all over the world such as NHK, ICI Radio Canada, Current TV, Al Jazeera Media Network, Russia Today, ERT, WDR, France TV, YLE, DR, TV3, RTBF, Press TV, RTS, RSI, EBS.