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tv   Death Row Stories  CNN  July 24, 2015 9:00pm-10:01pm PDT

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my grandparents teach that there are some people who are leaving madagascar before. they were very little my grandparents teach that there are some people who have been in madagascar before. they were very little people and they live in forests and they
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respect their environment. but then comes many people from other countries, from africa, from asia, from spain, from france. many of us don't know the history. ♪ i took a walk through this beautiful world ♪ ♪ felt the cool rain on my shoulder ♪ ♪ found something good in this beautiful world ♪ ♪ i felt the rain getting colder ♪ ♪ sha, la, la, la, la, ♪ sha, la, la, la, la, la ♪ sha, la, la, la, la, ♪ sha, la, la, la, la,
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♪ ♪ ♪ >> market. ♪
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>> over the years, i've let a lot of extraordinary landscapes recede into a blur outside my windows. i've looked, maybe seen, maybe noticed, then gone. we all carry different experiences inside us. we see things differently, don't we? madagascar -- exotic, unspoiled paradise or microcosm for the end of times.
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antananarivo, tana for short, madagascar's crowded chaotic capital city. >> how are you doing, man? base camp. >> wow, that's quite a rain. i don't know. i'm not sure if i can be in front of the camera. >> just ignore them. >> i'm so used to controlling everything. >> darren aronofsky, director of the films "pi," "the wrestler," "black swan," and as it would turn out, sort of appropriate to our location, "noah." he asked me if he could go along on a trip with us. i said where do you want to go. >> madagascar, i knew almost nothing about it. i knew it was an animated film i've seen a lot of times in my car. >> it is one of the more extreme places that you hear about but
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you know you'll never go to unless something really weird summons you. and you're sort of that weird force. >> we're on an island in the indian ocean with this amazing ethnic mix, an incredible landscape. something like 80% of the animals here don't exist anywhere else. >> what does it mean when an ecosystem goes out of balance? what is the blowback? >> here, you can see the blowback. the people have been chopping down the forests. all of a sudden you don't have soil anymore, and you can't grow anything anymore. it's just a real situation. there we go. >> an important question. you are a vegetarian. >> yes. and it just sort of happened with the release of "noah." in scripture he was a vegetarian as was adam and eve. humans weren't given permission to eat animals until after the
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flood. >> so we'll see who is doing better after the end of this ten days. little social experiment here. >> madagascar was settled best we can tell around 700 a.d. by people from what is know indonesia, later by africans. in 1895 the french took it, killed off a substantial number of people in the process, and as they do, left behind beautiful buildings and the french language. when independence came in 1960, it was sudden and ill-prepared for. continuing political incompetence has left most of madagascar's 22 million people living on less than $2 a day. >> do you know this place?
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do you eat here? >> yes. monday, saturday, before going out, before going tonight club. >> first meal in country and i suggested this place. i thought it would be perfect with aaron being a vegetarian and all. this is what you call being passive-aggressive, i think. >> so what's good here? >> pork. >> pork, my favorite vegetable. >> just the head of the pork. >> it sounds good. >> i'm not going to have it. i'm going to go just with vegetables. beans and -- >> you don't want to taste it? >> i'm not going to taste pig head, not today. >> always take it with beans.
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>> rossi, the famous musician here, is out of a period out of favor with the previous government back home and elected to parliament. >> the leaves are from -- >> that's excellent. great. there we go. >> these days what are the big issues that are not being taken care of. >> not enough education. poverty. we are very rich. we have oil, but our political leaders most of the time are crooked. >> how much does the environmental issues matter to the people or is it just about survival? >> they don't care. the international community, they've paid a lot of money to protect the forest. you protect the monkey.
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you don't protect the people. i eat the monkey. if i'm hungry, i eat them. they don't care about the world is going more and more war. >> climate change. >> okay. you are going to die, yes? okay. you're going to die. that's life. for them, just normal. >> a lot of people feel that the future should be ecotourism, essentially working in hotels and restaurants for tourists. >> yeah. >> that's kind of a return to colonialism, isn't it? >> exactly. time to fill out forms. tablets. keep them all digital. we're looking to double our deliveries. our fleet apps will find the fastest route. oh, and your boysenberyy apple scones smell about done. ahh, you're good. i like to bake. with at&t get up to $400 dollars in total savings on tools to manage your business.
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♪ tell me what you think of this. >> i'm looking forward to this. it's a very famous dish, goose. >> goose and shredded meat. >> very cool. >> there's always someplace where the flame is kept burning, history kept alive however faintly. >> this is the stuffing. >> these days in madagascar's capital city it's left to mariette. >> the epitome of the cooking is the way mariette cooks it.
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ you are, you are like a sweet perfect bloom ♪ >> during the colonial period, mariette was a frequent colonial ambassador. ♪ you are like the sun on my skin ♪ >> harry bellefonte. >> the go-to chef for visiting presidents and royalty. the success story -- her mansion high atop oatville, the former neighborhood of choice for aristocrats and colonizers
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alike. ♪ though semi-retired, mariette continues to entertain guests from time to time. >> so this is broth with chicken and ginger. >> these dishes marry cuisine with the techniques and training of the classical french. so moisten the rice with the broth? >> exactly, with the broth. ♪ >> wow, look at this. >> it is one of the side dishes. it's like a salad. string beans. we don't eat meat at every meal. it's expensive. most madagas would eat rice broth with vegetables and that's it. >> i'd do fine. >> yeah, absolutely.
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>> this is a country that is very rich in natural resources. >> madagascar, we have a lot of things that a lot of people want. for example, the trafficking of rosewood, prospecting for oil and gas, and don't leave anything for the rest of the country. this is an island paradise. >> and it is disappearing very, very quickly. >> a lot of our forests are being burned down. because people don't have land on which to grow their crops. >> the best case scenario is that ecotourism will save the day. the local people will be cleaning rooms, cooking, and performing traditional ethnic dances. >> yeah, absolutely. >> to me, this is not an ideal option. >> what's an ideal option, though?
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♪ >> heading south from tana, it's a very different country out there where rice is the difference between life and death. ♪ between the traditional slash and burn agriculture that's existed here since this island was first settled and the imperative of charcoal as heat source, 90% of the forests and jungles that cover madagascar are gone.
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♪ >> anything? >> not yet. they're very elusive. they're very difficult to see. >> thanks largely to the work of dr. patricia wright, over 4,000 hectares of forest have been set aside and protected for a national park. her recently completed research station is a state-of-the-art complex that reminds one of that cynical spielberg
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franchise, what was it, jurassic merch. >> it is right next to me, can you see it? >> oh, wow. >> right next to me. hello. the greater bamboo lemur previously thought extinct. >> there's only 500 of these in the wild in the whole world. >> wow, lilly. what the biggest pressure on the population? >> slash and burn agriculture. some places they're hunted. look at it. beautiful. it's so nice. >> he's pissing on you. he's taking a leak right now. >> hopefully that's not an editorial statement. >> look. this is the kind of bamboo chute
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that the lemurs loved. it's full of protein, and it's full of cyanide. >> is cyanide not a problem for them. >> they can tolerate all kinds of cyanide. the cyanide comes straight through in the poop. >> do they know how they get it through their system? >> we're working on that. >> what is the dew on the outside of it? just dew? >> careful. don't touch. >> how is your finger feeling? >> it felt sharp, but a fuzzy sharpness. >> yeah, a fuzzy sharpness. >> it's just like fiberglass actually. >> leave tiny little cuts. >> if i lick my finger, am i going to die? >> probably. >> are you serious? can it go through the skin now that i've touched it? >> no, you have to eat it. >> okay. >> hopes of a "black swan 2" the revenge, were dashed today
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when -- >> one right above you. >> has the film "madagascar" been good for the lemur business? >> i think the cartoon woke up the world and that there is a place called madagascar although a lot of people don't think it really exists. so what do you think happens? how hard is it to maintain the forests? >> it's incredibly hard. we've been working with the villagers around the park, and i think they really do understand the value of these extraordinary lemurs and the value of the forest, and the extraordinary forests. it's tremendous for this country. t-mobile now extends your coverage beyond the borders at no extra charge. get 4g lte data, unlimited calls and texts in mexico and canada just like in the u.s.
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the boundaries of the ranomafana park protect what they can of madagascar's rapidly diminishing rain forest, but it's not all about lemurs and rare species of unspoiled beautiful places. >> these are the tenella people. these are the people of the forest. this is the fifth time they've had to change the location of the village because they do slash and burn agriculture. this ceremony today is a ceremony to celebrate the fact that 17 people from the village are going to donate their land
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to conservation. it won't be cut down. ♪ >> before the tenalla land can officially become a part of the park, the gods or the ancestors must be appeased and that often means that something must die. >> do you see this a lot. >> i usually don't go a lot when this is happening. >> wow. >> for someone with as dark a
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world view, judging from his films anyway, he seems unusually uncomfortable with the bleeding realities of local custom preferring instead to trip the light fantastic in the rain forest idle. ♪
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>> how do you make the argument that it is in your interest to protect the forest when the forest means fuel, food? >> what we've had to do, of course, is make their lives better in exchange. health projects, education projects, tourism. many of the people work as tour guides. they work in the hotels. they have work. they didn't have any work when they got here, but also the benefits of researchers. we hire 85 people full-time. the director of the national
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park, where's your village that you lived in when you were a little girl? that's on one side of the park. >> the ancestors presumably okay ♪ ♪ >> the ancestors presumably okay with the land transfer. it's time to party. ♪ dr. wright worked hard to establish the park with the stated aim of protecting the absolutely unique flora and fauna here and reducing human
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pressures on the area. this, however, is the face of human pressure, just so we're clear. >> okay. take care, guys. ♪ >> we're right on the edge of the park. right on the edge, literally, is where they built the power lines and where they're slashing and burning. we were trying for landscapes like this in "noah." >> sort of a post-apocalyptic wasteland thing going on, right? >> the road.
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look, all the original fauna and flora in new york city and chicago and detroit are gone. we don't feel too guilty about that. >> that's the argument of all these developing countries, you did it. didn't they teach us in the third grade that two wrongs don't make a right? bp 64/40 sterilize sites. multiple foreign objects in the body. tweezers. (buzz!) (buzz!) if you're the guy from the operation game, you get operated on. it's what you do. (buzz!) if you want to save fifteen percent or more on car insurance, you switch to geico. it's what you do.
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♪ [ alarm sounding ] what were they welding on? >> oil pan. [ speaking foreign language ] >> most of madagascar's french built rail network has crumbled
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into nothingness, but this train still runs. >> look how it's painted. >> it's first class. >> yeah, yeah. >> we ride in style. how old is this train? wow, it works. >> oil pan worked. >> i hope that's not a pitying look i see on some of their faces. they are all looking at us like --
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>> it's 163 kilometers to the one time major port town. it's both the greatest thing ever, meaning a fantastically scenic emersion that most visitors never get to see and at times punishing crawl. for the majority of the 17 station stops along the line, this train provides the only connection to the outside world. people hop off and on, load and unload fruit, lychees, bananas. quite a few foreigners on board watch. >> we get some peanuts? thank you. >> and there are vendors selling food and drink, which is a necessity since the supposed eight-hour trip is said to sometimes approach 18.
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>> all right. so we got a shaker. we got an umbrella, champagne. you let the train pour for you. >> right. ♪ >> this is the lychee. >> that smells good. >> yeah. >> darren woke early and made the necessary french lychee puree for festive cocktails. >> wait, wait, wait. >> oh, yes. it's not bad. it's not bad at all. >> okay. it's a nice summery drink. >> the lychee makes it. >> the lychee makes it, yes. >> what do we call it? the golden lemur. >> the golden lemur.
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>> flashes of everyday life, the struggle to live, to eat, viewed from a moving train, then gone. >> different areas of madagascar are burning everywhere you can see. >> after seven hours or so -- >> we're coming into a town. >> -- the imperatives of food, any food, become ever more urgent. >> this is it. this is the food stop. i am starving.
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>> i am so with you. look, this kid is wearing a banana like a yamaka. >> the wonderland of fresh papaya salads along with the tasty treats we were told would be here, well, it's somewhat suboptimal. >> little did i know there would be a feeding frenzy. there's no papaya salad. everything's gone. here are some bananas. >> yeah, a few of those. >> yeah, merci. >> we get what we can. it's hard to complain about the lack of food options when you look around. >> lots of kids. want some? yeah, it's hard.
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>> this is nice. >> this is the way to travel. until a palm leaf comes flying at you. watch it, watch it, watch it. ♪ ♪
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this is what it's like to wake up at the end of the world. beyond here to the east nothing but thousands of miles of indian ocean. ♪ morning, and fishermen return with their catch. >> have you felt how wobbly that boat was coming over? >> yes. >> imagine going out and
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in serious chop on that thing and fishing. menacara was a major port back in the day, a major transportation hub. but now it's a sleepy beach town. that's a disturbingly large spider. i would be unhappy if i saw that coming across my pillow. dude, it's a chicken or rooster. i tell you that lobster is smelling good. >> no, they're disgusting. they're like giant insects. what do they eat? what do they eat? >> corpses. >> dead things. >> right. >> you are such a debbie downer. >> you are such a downer. ♪
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>> you were born here. >> and your parents are from here. how far out do they go out? >> 50 miles. >> he goes out 50 miles in a little canoe? >> yes. every day, every day. >> awesome. >> this is typical dish. green leaves, eggplants, some spices. >> it is should be pointed out. we bought a lot of food. this sort of spread is not an everyday meal in these parts. >> there's your veggie platter. there you go, man. >> now we have a piece of a shark. he says before 2000, more fish. but since then -- >> smaller fish? >> smaller fish, and the quantity, as well, smaller.
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>> that's a papaya salad. >> it's one of those days where the artifice of making television threatens to move dangerously into cruelty. >> what are you guys eating over here? >> who gets to eat and when becomes a pressing concern to the two of us. >> the kids eating? can we hand out the food? >> in a village like this, first ladies serve men. >> right. >> then the kids, they will eat later. >> right. i gotcha. >> it may not be our system, but it's a system. >> the kids are getting ready for theirs over there. and it becomes clear that, yes, everybody will eat. ♪ >> there we go. >> oh, that's good. you picked a bad time to become a vegetarian. you really did. the food is amazing. there are some really good cooks at work here today. i mean, really amazing.
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and movies on all my devices. it's perfect for me because my kids are costing me a fortune. i'm going to cabo! [ music plays ] don't settle for u-verse. xfinity is perfect for people who want more entertainment for their money. ♪ >> hallelujah! >> hallelujah, praise the lord!
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[ speaking foreign language ]. >> hallelujah! >> you are blessed today. hallelujah. >> hallelujah. [ speaking foreign language ]. i will destroy the city because all of the people are senile. amen. >> amen. >> hallelujah. hallelujah! hallelujah! >> hallelujah. >> the camera is a liar. it shows everything, it shows nothing. it reveals only what we want. often, what we see is seen only from a window, moving past then gone. one window, my window. if you'd been here, chances are
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you would have seen things differently. ♪ >> whoa! >> whoa! >> oh! >> you live here now. looking back, if you were editing this show, how would you tell this story? >> i don't know. >> this is it, this is the food stop. i am starving. >> i am so with you. >> that was quite a scene. lots of kids. >> this is really --
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>> you always want a simple answer to everything to make it all make sense. and it seems to -- i don't know. it's just constantly surprising. >> what can you see everywhere you go? in the office, in the market. people are still making scene. >> as a kid, i always wondered if i was good enough to get on the ark. so i always sort of empathize with the people who didn't make it. >> god, make all of the animals come inside the big ship and all of the people -- family. it is on our ship. >> god decides to destroy creation. ten generations after he created everything.
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so it must have hurt tremendously. >> god will choose us, like he choose noah. he said noah, he brought that -- he was save us, too. hallelujah. >> hallelujah ♪ >> pray for madagascar. pray for yourself. pray for your team. pray.
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>> god will save madagascar. everything changes. nothing changes at all. ♪ i took a walk through this beautiful world ♪ ♪ felt the cool rain on my shoulder ♪ ♪ found something good in this


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