We Can Plant Water
In the world of specialty coffees, there is nothing more important than the sensory experience it needs to perform on our palate and nose.
Currently, Brazilian coffee producers are facing catastrophic climate change that consistently has something to do with the deforestation that Jair Bolsonaro’s government is favoring in the country. It ravages local microorganisms as well as flora and fauna, which endangers not only the future of coffee, but also the future of Brazil’s syntropical agroforestry.
Credits / Collaborators / Cast
A film by 3ª Onda Coffee Consulting, Matheo Fernandes & Brazilian AeroPress Championship 2021 Edition
Writter/Director – Matheo Fernandes
EP – Eystein Veflingstad
Producer – Matheo Fernandes
Producer – Eystein Veflingstad
Producer – Victor Mello
DP – Matheo Fernandes
1st AC – Arthur Duarte
Sound Recording – Arthur Duarte
Stills – Eystein and Matheo
Editor/Colourist – Matheo Fernandes
SFX – Matheo Fernandes & Brenno Zanotto
Mix/Master Engineer – Brenno Zanotto
Sound production – Estúdio Campo Sonoro
Film Lab/Scan – Midwest Film Co.
An Original Score – Arthur Duarte
Mix/Master Engineer – Rafael Nieto
Rental gear – 615 Filmes
Shot on 16mm Kodak motion picture film, with a Krasnogorsk 3 (K-3)
Shot at Fazenda Cachoeira, Minas Gerais, Brazil, on September 2021.
Tiago Damasceno & Dri Cobra (Oop Café), Thiago Santos, Italo Bacce, Brazilian AeroPress Championship 2021 Edition, Miriam, Rogério, Barbara, Sofia, Pri, Flora & Matheus (Fazenda Cachoeira), Arthur Duarte, Brenno Zanotto & Rafael Nieto (Estúdio Campo Sonoro), Gabriel Braga, Mariana Moura, Victor Mello, Justin Cary and Kelly Stein.
This film used footage from:
The Guardian – Drone footage reveals aftermath of Amazon fires;
CNN – Amazon rainforest burning at record date;
TV Folha – Pantanal: o rastro de destruição do fogo que já devastou o bioma;
Google Earth: Our Forests Timelapse;
Deutsche Welle Brazil
The story behind the film
To Eystein, for trust and partnership; Roger and Miriam for knowledge, environmentalism and amazing coffees.
This is a film about coffee, which in turn is 98% about water. Therefore, this is a film about water.
Growing up in the countryside was extremely important for me to develop my sensibility to climate and nature. Producing this project with such limited resources, in a two-person team (Arthur Duarte & myself), was really inhospitable, full of insecurities and frustrations. Arthur was the only guy I could count on to do absolutely everything — even when I was stressed and didn’t even want to look at his face. But he was my greatest partner on the journey.
Shooting on film in a Krasnogorsk-3 made the experience even more magical and sensory, as much as it made it more difficult. Something that was really shocking was the weather conditions we were in in September 2021, in the south of Minas Gerais state, at Fazenda Cachoeira: we woke up one day with a reddish sky, with a kind of soot. This had an impact on me. At that moment, in fact, the Chapada dos Guimarães (Mato Grosso do Sul State), more than two thousand kilometers away, was on fire, caused in good part by droughts and illegal burning; also, sandstorms were forming in the interior of the state of São Paulo (this had never happened before).
Brazil was asking for help, and I could hear it. Nevertheless, the owners of the Fazenda, Miriam and Roger, spoke daily about the danger to Brazilian farmers — those farmers who have environmental responsibility. The drought is something real, which cannot be hidden. That is where I drew the thread of the film: in the anguish of not being able to do anything but shout to the world and show the hole we are falling into. A dry hole, without the slightest drop of water to absorb the impact. Above all, what I learned during the seven days of shooting, with the people who were present at the farm, for the AeroPress Brazilian Championship, was what kept me in line. They were key people in all stages of my formation as an environmental enthusiast, as well as the catastrophe the country was experiencing. We were all shocked, and for the sake of a community of specialty coffee lovers, I decided to make this documentary, which is also a manifesto.
We don’t want to state that the guilty party is that one or the other, but rather to denounce the system of environmental exploitation/devastation that has been stimulated and facilitated by the current government. The life of a Brazilian documentary filmmaker is not easy, but it is second only to that of aa Brazilian environmentalist, and I have seen this with my own eyes.
Take care of planet Earth. Visit local farmers, support them. Drink quality coffee, finance this movement. We can all plant water, we just have to want to. When I cry ‘Out Bolsonaro’, I cry for the future of my country, its people and nature – we both clearly don’t want the same thing; for land reform, for better care of the environment, for less agrochemicals in our food, and for an end to the brutal class difference that exists here. Sincerely, Matheo.