Successive Brazillian governments have discussed the urgency of land reform for over 200 years. Despite this, today less than one percent of the population still own 42% of fertile agricultural land. Meanwhile, 23 million rural workers live below the bread line, and favelas in major cities continue to swell with migrants from the poor, rural north of Brazil. First set up in 1984 the MST (Movimento Sem Terra) has helped establish 200 camps on unoccupied and fallow rural land to help house and feed some of the landless citizens. In 1996 police gunned down 19 MST members in cold blood. The outrage this provoked helped place the MST – and the issue of land reform – firmly at the top of Brazil’s political agenda. 10,000 marchers travelled from all over Brazil to converge on the National Congress in the capital, Brasilia, to petition the government to take action on land reform. MARCH FOR LAND follows their trek across Brazil, stopping at MST temporary camps along the way, talking to leaders of the movement as well as those who stayed behind in the camps to continue the daily work of food production and education which forms the practical bedrock of the movement.
Films in this series