In 2005, Sister Dorothy Stang—a missionary from Dayton, Ohio—was brutally gunned down in the Brazilian rainforests she dedicated her life to protecting. Called the “Angel of the Amazon” by local farmers, Dorothy arrived in Brazil in 1967, took on its citizenship, and spent the next three and a half decades seeking to implement the Brazilian government’s policy of granting land to worker families for cultivation and preservation (called the “Sustainable Development Project”). Believing “the land is the source of life for God’s people,” Dorothy fought eloquently and tirelessly against the corporate ranchers and loggers who illegally slashed and burned over 20 square miles of rainforest a day and are responsible for 1/5 of the Amazonian deforestation. Filled with archived TV clips, video and newscasts of Dorothy, and emotional interviews with her allies and brother, David (who arrives in Brazil to collect her personal belongings and “to see that justice is done”), we follow the prosecution of the gunmen, and are privy to candid interviews with the accused and their flamboyant defense team—a group of lawyers who give new meaning to the word “sleaze.” Compelling and heartbreaking from beginning to end, Sister Dorothy’s story is a must-see.
They Killed Sister Dorothy, First Run Features. 93 minutes. Unrated. List Price $24.95.