Sibiu, Romania – Fabian Daub, a german director and producer of documentary and short films, received “the longest applause in my career” after the showing of his latest film Rosia Montana , Town on the Brink, at the Astra International Film Festival. The film depicts the conflict between the people of Roşia Montană and Gold Corporation, a canadian-based mining company seeking to mine the largest deposit of gold in Europe located underneath the village of Rosia Montana in the Apuseni Mountains of western Romania.
When asked what made him interested in making this film, it was the many levels of conflict Daub said that had compelled him to tell this story; the tensions between the Company and opponents, within the community and within individuals, themselves. The film captures the uncertainty for those who remain in Rosia Montana and their spirit to do whatever is necessary to keep their homes.
*Although gold has been mined in Rosia Montana for over 2000 years, Gold Corporation wants to side-step the underground methods of extraction used previously and develop a huge open-pit mine, instead. On paper the process appears simple; take earth and grind it to a fine powder, add sodium cyanide to bind with the gold and silver and filter out the waste. However, this technique of gold extraction would involve submerging the nearby town of Corna under a lake of cyanide and destroying the town of Rosia Montana and a significant amount of the history of mining since before the Roman occupation, a treasure unique in the world.
The problem becomes more complex because of the arguable economic gains that Gold Corporation say would be realized to the local economy if the project is allowed to begin. Opponents to the project say that those gains would be few and when compared to the loss of the surrounding communities and archeological treasures, insignificant. The film depicts this conflict and the stress that often comes with “progress.”