At the beginning of November, I was honored to be a member of the judging panel for the “Merdas” section of a competition Sunsine, he The Barcelona-based international festival, a world leader in uniting cinema and the environment, celebrated its 30th edition this year. This gave me the opportunity to see 20 documentaries Medium-length films (duration between 20 and 45 minutes) from all over the world (from Ecuador to Colombia and the United States, from Spain to Italy, Austria and Portugal, from India to Indonesia and Iran), previously selected from among dozens by the festival organization, It is equivalent to having a vantage point What is said and depicted in the green zone. What are the issues of most concern? What are the prevailing views and optics. I tell you what I saw and analyze 15 films. Climate crisis, energy transition, and pollution of seas and rivers They occupy a large portion of jobs.
First, a round of applause for the winning documentary, Amlor, An exceptional and exciting Basque production with original narration and excellent musical selection supported only by the visuals. A series full of metaphors about human history, from our ancestors in Africa to the accelerated lives of our humans. Civilization, From that dance with plastic in the middle of the brutal garbage dump to that final tribute to new generations. When you have the chance, be sure to see it, because it is a relaxing and at the same time transcendent journey about our history, in the broadest sense of the word.
And then, in my opinion, two other productions emerged: Ice kids, From Colombia, a poetic and epic work, with beautiful images, about the loss of tropical glaciers, which highlights problems related to the climate crisis, while also paying close attention to indigenous peoples and populations. Something also influenced by another documentary that was given to SUNCINE with better billing: Fire Shepherds (Voices from the Roof of the World), Coming from Nepal, about yak herders and how climate change affects them. You can see it in full here.
Concern for indigenous people
This focuses on how indigenous peoples, peoples who continue to live connected to the territory and preserve roots and cultures, are the first and main affected by climate change, disturbances in natural cycles and the biodiversity puzzle, and by the effects of climate change. Civilization Supported by the extractive economy, it is repeated in other documentaries in Latin America. So, When the ocean turns black It examines how the oil spill affected coastal populations in Peru; Mexican They are from the river It shows how river pollution affects riverbank residents, their economy, health, and culture, and on Ecuadorians An epic journey It examines the impact of hydropower plants, illegal mining, and extractive capitalism on the Amazon region, with great importance given to women’s perspectives.
Beware of energy transfer
Besides this focus – the decimation of indigenous populations due to the effects of progress? – Another issue emerged in the selected works in Look From SUNCINE: The negative consequences that the energy transition towards more renewable and sustainable sources can bring, which are not well understood, planned and developed. And so the Catalan film Un Silenci Blau (Blue Silence).) It is another meticulous work that deserves a prize for the accuracy with which it presents the effects of offshore wind, something that is still little debated in our country. You can see here.
This is something that the Austrian documentary also addresses Down to the last drop, About the loss of the last wild rivers in Tyrol due to the construction of hydroelectric power plants. And tree cutting work, It was portrayed as an investigative report on the risks involved in promoting forest biomass as a renewable energy source, which could feed the mafia in Romania and Italy. It can be seen in full here.
Oceans are blue alert and animals are red alert
Two other issues were repeatedly touched upon: concern for the good health of the oceans and the often astonishing efforts being made to preserve biodiversity against the elements and to save critically endangered animal species.
Regarding sea health, a different approach: the invasion of plastics and microplastics into the oceans (How blue is your ocean?, United States of America); Multiple threats to sea turtles (Give me a small plot of land, India), and an educational project to collect garbage from the sea and create works of art from that material (be blue, Portugal).
Documentaries about emblematic and endangered species cannot be missing. The Spanish work is worth mentioning cheerful Information about mountain gorillas in Uganda.
Recycling and good experiences
We’re done – that’s why we’re in the department Recycling Asombrario- With positive project work, something that is increasingly available, good experiences often derive from waste. There’s the Indonesian documentary To plant About five sustainable projects, from how schoolchildren make compost to using energy from methane from a landfill and reforesting an area badly damaged by a mine; And the movie trash cycle, An adventure told with humor and a lot of energy of a father and his son as they tour Portugal by bike to raise awareness about the importance of recycling and the circular economy.
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