Programmed by Julia Pinget
For Newtok’s 375 inhabitants, global warming is already very real. The members of this small Alaskan community are seeing their houses disappear into the sea as the winter storms eat away at their coast and the melting permafrost erodes the edges of their town. They’ve known for decades that their future is in danger. Tom Burke follows this community that’s struggling to keep its traditional Yup’ik culture alive whilst building a new life on more solid ground.
This is a tale that interweaves several stories, all tinged with disappearance. First of all, there’s the physical threat of submersion that’s causing the land to disappear, the land that, until now, was shared by the community, connecting its members but now scattering them to the four winds. How are they going to deal with this separation and maintain their bonds?
Their customs are also in peril because of this imminent and irreversible departure. How are they going to preserve a way of living together and respecting their traditions when their cornerstone disappears? Throwing oneself into a new life is not easy to do when it’s not a choice and forces people to set out on fragile and uncertain paths.
Tom Burke’s gaze is tactful and discreet as he offers us this extraordinary immersion amongst the inhabitants of this village endangered by rising sea-levels. In this saga, we can see a practical portrayal of the climate changes that are coming our way.
Julia Pinget Director