Death By A Thousand Cuts (Muerte por Mil Cortes)

The murder of a park ranger highlights the tension between Haiti and the Dominican Republic over charcoal exploitation and mass deforestation.


Juan Mejia Botero and Jake Kheel





Running Time

73 mins 



SFGFF Film Program: 

 Green Film Fest Screening - April 21, 2017

San Francisco Premiere

With exquisite cinematography, Death by a Thousand Cuts uses the character-driven murder investigation on the border of Haiti and the Dominican Republic to unpack the impacts of deforestation. The film interweaves the many sides of the story of Melaneo’s murder, a Dominican Park Ranger in the Sierra de Bahoruco National Park, told through: his Haitian wife Calina, brother Chichi, local reporter Luis Medrano and a Haitian Nené working as a Dominican park ranger, all representing different perspectives on a complex socio-political issue. In parallel, the film explores the larger backdrop of the rapidly changing reality on the Dominican and Haitian border due to the illegal charcoal trafficking trade. Deforestation cuts deeply across the economic, social and security fabric of both countries and has far-reaching consequences in both nations.

- Grand Jury Prize, Seattle International Film Festival 2016
- Audience Award, DOCNYC 2016

DISCUSSION WITH: Juan Mejia Botero, filmmaker (via Skype)