One of the goals of our Festival is to serve as a platform for debate on current issues and a space for freedom of expression, offering a voice to those who have been kept silent. This year, we’re proud to bring you four films that talk about climate change, the environment and the impact humans are having on this planet. While From the Wild Sea maps the relationship between human and marine life, The Ants and the Grasshopper follows the journey of one extraordinary woman from her African homeland to California and the White House, trying to make people understand that climate change is real. In her first feature documentary, Cow, the celebrated British director Andrea Arnold follows the life of an ordinary dairy cow, while the wonderfully surreal Taming the Garden tells the story of the former prime minister of Georgia and his obsession with collecting trees for his private garden.
The Ants and the Grasshopper
Raj Patel, Zak Piper / Malawi / 2021 / 76 mins + Q&A
This documentary follows Anita Chitaya, a knowledgeable Malawian woman who can extract abundant food from dead soil and end child hunger in her home village, on a journey to California and the White House, trying to persuade Americans that climate change is real and a threat not only to her homeland but to the United States too, but it will take all her skill to open the eyes of local farmers and politicians alike. Raj Patel and Zak Piper’s engaging documentary is a powerful reminder that climate change has consequences that apply to everyone.
Wednesday November 10th, Triskel Arts Centre, 17:00.
Available Online, November 16th to 18th.
Andrea Arnold / UK / 2021 / 94 mins
This first documentary by a veteran of British cinema and the writer-director of Fish Tank and American Honey is focused on, well, a cow. Arnold takes us out of our comfort zone in this immersive feature exploring the reality of the lives of dairy cows. The film follows its protagonist, an ordinary cow called Luma, showing us with a mix of brutal honesty and the lyrical cinematic language for which Arnold is celebrated, how we treat other living beings. As Arnold has said, ‘This film is an endeavour to consider cows. To move us closer to them. To see both their beauty and the challenge of their lives. Not in a romantic way but in a real way.’
Sunday November 7th, Triskel Arts Centre, 18:00.
Monday November 8th, Triskel Arts Centre, 12:30.
From the Wild Sea (Fra det Vilde Hav)
Robin Petré / Denmark / 2021 / 78 mins / Subtitled
As man’s impact upon the planet becomes increasingly felt, Danish filmmaker Robin Petré turns her lens upon the relationship between the human realm and marine life in this visually audacious feature documentary debut. Telling the stories of those people in Ireland, Britain and the Netherlands who seek to limit the destructive impact of humanity on the seas surrounding them, Petré paints an urgent portrait of an ecosystem on the brink of collapse, through the eyes of the animals that populate it.
Saturday November 6th, Triskel Arts Centre, 17:15.
Friday November 12th, Triskel Arts Centre, 12:30.
Taming the Garden
Salomé Jashi / Switzerland, Germany, Georgia / 2021 / 91 mins / Subtitled
The powerful former prime minister of Georgia, Bidzina Ivanishvili, has found himself a new and rather exquisite hobby: he collects trees. Transplanting century-old trees from across the Georgian coastline to his own private garden requires a lot of work and often a lot of extra infrastructure. Salomé Jashi’s (The Dazzling Light of Sunset) wonderfully surreal and wryly observed documentary asks serious questions about power, entitlement and the environment, without ever losing track of the absurd reality it details.
Tuesday November 9th, The Gate Multiplex, 18:15
Available Online, November 19th to 21st.