During the year 1960’s, Brazil experienced tremendous economic growth. The economy then is growing by 10 percent annually and the population increased as well. Brazil’s growth created a demand for energy and the government decided to make use of the country’s natural resources to keep up with this.
Rio Parana, the river in the border of Brazil and Paraguay, is second to the Amazon River in size. The Itaipu dam is designed to stop the flow of this river to generate 90,000 gigawatts of electricity per year. This is used to supply the densely populated nation and its neighboring countries.
This documentary is about the world’s most powerful hydroelectric dam constructed to provide for South America’s electricity demands. The construction of the Itaipu dam took seven years with 40,000 workers braving the scorching heat and the dangers of a possible flood. Aside from environmental issues, political and diplomatic problems arise. This is because Rio Parana sits between Brazil and its old enemy Paraguay. In the early 1900’s, Paraguay lost thousands of its people in a war against Brazil. Negotiations about the dam proceeded cautiously but in the end, the promise of a vast supply of electricity prevailed.