Film: 7970

Places + Locations | 1940 | Sound | Colour


Liberia and the rubber industry with clearing of the rainforests by a USA company for the production of rubber.

Opening shot of African scenery. Liberia was founded in 1822 by U.S. Slaves who colonised this land. Scenes of tribal life, growing and preparing rice, building huts. Cassava and oil-palm are important. Scenes of farmers at work and then of fishermen in their boats. Woman catches fish in ponds. Weaving done by men . Shot of hand-loom weavers at work. Mats are made from raffia. Flat building is seen. A tribal meeting is seen. We see a market with fruit, ivory and clothes. We see U.S. Trading Company, operated by Firestone to supply American foods. 'Liberia is a land of contrasts'. Four-engined (propeller) plane is seen landing at airfield, built by Firestone in 1940's. Scene of hydro-electricity plant which supplies power to Firestone's industrial operation. Scenes of American style houses and hospital in Firestone's enclave. Firestone's radio marts, golf courses and sports field are seen. African dancers and stilt-walkers are seen. Firestone's interest in Liberia derives from the rubber industry. Latex is seen extracted from trees, then are seen felling indigenous trees to make way for rubber-trees. Jungle clearing. Thousand of acres are cleared by felling and burning trees. Huge man-made forest fires are seen, with the environmental impact of the countryside. 'More land is being made ready for more rubber'.

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