Secrets from Putumayo

Includes Q&A

No Longer Available

Film Info
Country Listing:Brazil
Premiere Status:International Premiere
Festival Info
Festival Year:2021
Brazilian Portuguese
Accessibility:Partial Subtitles
Program Category:World Showcase
By Program - Sort:World Showcase
Film Subjects:Capitalism & Big Business
Crime & the Justice System
Indigenous Cultures & Issues
Latin American Cultures & Issues
Cast/Crew Info
Director(s):Aurélio Michiles
Producer(s):Patrick Leblanc
Executive Producer(s):Patrick Leblanc
Writer(s):Aurélio Michiles
Danilo Gullane
André Finotti
Editor(s):André Finotti
Cinematography:André Lorenz Michiles
Composer:Alvise Migotto
Sound:Léo Bortolin
Sound Design:Miriam Biderman
Ricardo Reis


In 1910, the British Consul General in Rio de Janeiro, Roger Casement, undertook an investigation into allegations of crimes against Indigenous communities committed by the British-registered Peruvian Amazon Company. Narrated from his journals, Secrets from Putomayo recounts the horrific treatment he uncovered there: an industrial-extractive system based on killings and slave labour in the midst of the Amazon jungle, "a real green hell." Shocked by his discoveries, and despite a heavy personal toll, Casement was determined to bring awareness to the British of their own colonial atrocities by revealing the appalling human cost of the rubber industry. Blending unflinching passages from his journal (powerfully narrated by Stephen Rea) with unforgettable archival images, the film makes space for the Indigenous relatives of the survivors to share the oral stories passed down by the family members, who also recount current struggles for self-determination against today's multinational corporations, just as fixated on extracting the resources of the Amazon. Casement's pursuit of justice continued when he returned to Britain, just as the fight to preserve their land continues today for the Indigenous peoples of the Amazon. Darlene Naponse

Co-presented with Brazil Film Festival Toronto

World Showcase program sponsored by
CBC Gem logo

Additional Information

Stream documentary premieres, pre-recorded Q&As, live events and more at Hot Docs Festival, nationwide April 29 to May 9.

Single tickets: $13 ($11.50 for Hot Docs Members) 

Seeing lots of films? Save with an Unlimited Festival Pass, 5-Pack or 12-Pack or become a Hot Docs member.

All films are geo-blocked to Canada. From the moment you start streaming, you have 48 hours to watch your film. Questions? Try our FAQs

Hot Docs employs visible watermarking on all films streaming in the Festival to ensure the highest level of security. Under Canada’s Copyright Act, unauthorized copying or distribution of copyrighted material is illegal.

Stream Docs for Free on CBC Gem