Directed by Todd Southgate and Tolga Temugle (2013)
Damocracy is a documentary debunking the myth that large scale hydroelectric dams combat global warming by producing emission-free electric power. In reality, they create massive amounts of methane by flooding and killing large areas of vegetation. Because methane is a far more dangerous greenhouse gas than CO2, it takes approximately 41 years for a dam to produce any net benefit for the climate.
The film focuses on global protest movements which have formed in reaction to two specific dam projects: Ilisu on the Tigris River in Turkey and Belo Monte in Brazil.
In addition to displacing more than 35,000 rural residents, the Ilisu Dam would flood more than 300 unique Mesopotamian heritage sites. It would also aggravate water shortages in southern Iraq and Iran.
The Belo Monte dam would displace 40,000 indigenous people, virtually destroying 18 distinct ethnic cultures.
Despite strong support for the Bel Monte dam by former president Dilma Rousseff, mass popular resistance forced her government to discontinue the Bel Monte project in April 2016.
Turkish president Recep Erdogan continues construction on Turkey’s Ilisu Dam despite UN and high court rulings ordering him to desist. Ongoing local and international protests have significantly delayed the damn’s completion, originally slated for 2015.