Matthias von Gunten
Switzerland, 96 min
Two places that are poles apart. Thule, in Greenland, is facing the relentless melting of the icecaps and Tuvalu, the tiny polynesian island-state, is confronted with the ensuing rise in sea level. The inhabitants of these two remote corners of the world are forced to rethink their traditional way of life. A calibrated parallel editing brings their common fate together.
Rasmus and Patrick live poles apart: one in Thule, Greenland, one of the northernmost places on the earth, and the other in Tuvalu, the tiny polynesian island-state. Despite living on opposite sides of the globe, they both view the sea as their main source of subsistence. However, the slow and relentless melting of the icecaps and the ensuing rise in sea level will force them to rethink their age-old livelihood strategy and change their way of life. Vevea, another inhabitant of Tuvalu and father of 21 children, does not want to know about: he just cannot believe that the earth beneath his feet will disappear. But that is the reality of it, one day the island will be completely submerged by the sea. As for the fishermen in Tuvalu, the people on Thule will have to come up with new hunting techniques once the ice has become but a distant memory. Director Matthias von Gunten brings diametrically opposite worlds together in a simple, yet confident and effective style, whose strength lies in the calibrated orchestration of parallel editing.