Director Jennifer Abbott (The Corporation) remembers how it began during a forest walk. It was summertime, but it looked like snow was falling. The “snowflakes” were actually ash particles from a distant forest fire fueled by climate change. The emotion she felt was similar to what she felt after her sister died of cancer in 2008. In this deeply personal film Abbott draws parallels between grief for the loss of a loved one, and grief for what humanity is losing due to the climate crisis.
Everywhere she visits on her filmic journey, Abbott discovers that people are feeling the same overwhelming sorrow, be they Inuits contending with the consequences of melting ice, Australians whose residential areas and surrounding flora and fauna have been consumed by the fires, or members of Amazon communities opposing the mining industry and the devastation it causes. But this sorrow can also turn into rage, action, hope.
The raw emotions and dramatic music make for a moving film experience, with solace provided by a reenacted storyline in which Abbott’s sister comes to terms with her inevitable death, thanks in part to the natural world.