Twenty thousand tons of waste full of arsenic, mercury and lead was dumped by the Swedish company Boliden almost 40 years ago in the desert on the outskirts of Arica, Chile. The waste was supposed to be properly treated, but instead local children played in the poisonous dump. Were it not for filmmakers Lars Edman and William Johansson Kalén, the world might not have learned that people were dying of cancer and that their offspring were being born with disabilities. They have been following the case for almost 15 years and are trying to force the company to accept responsibility. Will a complex international trial be won? Will former Boliden employee and key witness Rolf Svedberg testify?
Born in Chile and raised in Sweden, Lars returned to South America to attend the Valparaiso Film School. Lars’ first film was Toxic Playground which won 6 international awards, screened in over 30 international festivals and was broadcast on TV across Europe. Since completing Toxic Playground, Lars has retrained as a speech and language therapist and now lives in the north of Norway. Arica is his second feature documentary, in which Lars and his co-director revisits the theme of their first film, after following the lives of the inhabitants of the Chilean town.
William Johansson Kalén has worked as a Director, Editor in chief, DoP and Film editor on a number of documentaries, documentary series and TV-programs since 2006. He co-directed the award-winning documentary Toxic Playground in 2009 and started as a film producer in 2015 when he became a shareholder of Laika Film & Television. He is currently producing an artistic documentary about architecture that will premiere in early 2021 and producing a couple of Laika’s projects in development. He has worked as assistant producer on the documentary Cold Case Hammarskjöld and the fiction Beauty And The Dogs and The Man Who Sold His Skin. He is also the Swedish producer in the Jordanian fiction film Farha that premiered in spring 2021.