From a short film about a young boy in Mexico’s indigenous community, to a short tracing the aftermath of a hurricane in Nicaragua, the festival spotlights 50 global films on climate justice – here, activist Josephine Becker picks her favourites
TIME AND THE SEASHELL
In this short film, director Itandehui Jansen follows a young boy in Mexico’s indigenous community while listening to the sounds of a seashell. Later on, an older man recalls his past listening to the same shell. By comparing these two cross-generational experiences, Jansen invites the audience to consider the past, present, and future of the changing landscape and vanishing biodiversity.
Set against the backdrop of the 1970s native rights movement, Hawaiian activist and musician George Helm seeks the support of kūpuna (community elders) from the island of Maui to protect the neighboring island of Kahoʻolawe from military bombing.
TO CALM THE PIG INSIDE
In 2013, Typhoon Haiyan swept across the Philippines for days, leaving behind a trail of devastation. At just 19 minutes, director Joanna Vasquez Arong offers a short but insightful snapshot into the effects of the typhoon. Accompanied by grainy, black-and-white images of the wreckage, Vasquez Arong recounts moving stories about the natural disaster and the injustices resulting from corruption in her country.
Gather is a snapshot into the growing movement of Native Americans reclaiming their spiritual, political, and cultural identities through food sovereignty. The documentary follows a number of Native American individuals, including a chef from the White Mountain Apache Nation (Arizona), who opens an indigenous café as a nutritional recovery clinic; a young scientist from the Cheyenne River Sioux Nation (South Dakota), conducting landmark studies on bison; and the Ancestral Guard, a group of environmental activists from the Yurok Nation (Northern California), on a quest to save the Klamath river.
MATAGI MALOHI: STRONG WINDS
Located in a thin strip of land in the Pacific Ocean, the inhabitants of Tuvalu – the fourth-smallest country in the world – have long relied on the surrounding waters to sustain their way of life. With climate change, however, these waters threaten to sink their homeland – climate models predict the island’s current children may be the last native Tuvaluans. With the rallying cry “We are not drowning, we are fighting”, Matagi Mālohi follows the activists working to change that fate.
Originally screened as part of the Official Selection at Cannes Film Festival 2021, French actress Aïssa Maïga’s directorial debut tells the story of 12-year-old Houlaye, who lives in Tatiste, Niger, and travels dozens of kilometers every day to fetch water. When the village get together to start the construction of a well, there is the promise of a new life.
In this 45-minute short, Pakistani director Jawad Sharif tells the story of the potential conflict caused by climate migration and its impact on local communities and families in the Indus Delta region. It follows fisherman, artist, and political activist Ayoub Sehto as he contemplates moving to the mainland to offer a better education and life to his family.
FROM THE WILD SEA
From The Wild Sea is a poetic documentary that explores the relationship between human and nature in the anthropocene era – both from a human and animal perspective. As such, it paints a touching picture of our modern ecosystem as something that is nuanced and interconnected and stretches far beyond the human race.
In her heartfelt debut feature, director Luna Marán encourages her father, the Mexican indigenous troubadour and social leader Jaime Martínez, to write a new song about his life after 15 years of silence. Shaped by generations of tradition and memories, Uncle Yim is a powerful documentary about shared trauma, music, and communality.
Haulover is a small town located in the northern Caribbean of Nicaragua. In this 30-minute film, director Alvaro Cantillano explores the effects of two hurricanes that tore the community in two and destroyed its infrastructure in November 2020. Now, villagers must decide between going back and rebuilding their home from the rubble, or starting a new life elsewhere.