Losing Alaska

  • Tom Burke
  • Ireland
  • 2018
  • 83 min
  • International Premiere
  • Frontlight

An urgent story reveals the drastic consequences of climate change. Due to rising temperatures, the village of Newtok, Alaska is slowly vanishing into the sea. The 375 inhabitants of this vast and beautiful area of permafrost have lived for years with the constant fear of their village literally sinking. We see how the Yup’ik support themselves by fishing and hunting in the traditional way. The constant threat is a nightmare—watching the ground disappear under your feet seems to belong to a horror movie plot.

“Like a cookie monster eating cookies” is how 19-year-old Bosco describes the way the ocean is devouring the coastline. Fearful questions divide the tight-knit fishing community: will they have to abandon their village and leave for another part of the country, or will they move to firmer ground nearby? Although we hear Obama describe the situation in a 2015 speech as a “wake-up call,” so far the world doesn’t appear to be losing any sleep over the vanishing village of Newtok.


  • 83 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: English
  • Subtitles in: English
Tom Burke
Jessie Fisk, Alan Maher for Marcie Films Ltd
Executive producer
Celine Haddad, Keith Potter
Tom Burke
Tom Burke

IDFA history

International Premiere

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