BLACK RIVER - Life on Rio Negro

According to Madame de Staël, 'Travelling, whatever may be said of it, is one of the saddest pleasures of life.'


Laurie was born on the banks of the Black River, and she travels in order to stay on the move. Her journey starts in the legendary city of rubber barons which is now home to millions, Manaus. Rio Negro flows into the Amazon here, carrying four times as much water as the Mississippi. The trip continues along the river through Barcelos and São Gabriel, a city on the Equator, into the depths of Amazonia, where Brazil, Venezuela and Colombia meet. In this place Alexander von Humboldt wrote the following in 1799: I am very happy here, at the heart of this endless wilderness, and all the impressions will continue to delight me in the future. The tropical world is my element.


'Black River' is an essay about life on the Rio Negro, the largest blackwater river on Earth, and a river movie somewhere between documentary and magic realism.


Essay Film, Austria 2012, 64 Minutes

with Lauriane Gomes
Written and Directed by: Herbert Brödl
Photography: Herbert Brödl
Assistance: Naia Arruda
Music: Carsten von Stanislawski
Editor: Markus Frohnhöfer
Dramatic Advisor: Reinhard Wulf
Voice Over: Werner Wölbern
Produced by: Breisach Medienwerkstatt


Thanks to Wolfgang Lorenz


With the support of ORF and ÖFI