On a golden morning, 12-year-old Milad sails out across the Shadegan Wetlands in Khuzestan, a province in southwestern Iran. He skillfully guides his slender boat over vast expanses of water, past untidy villages on the bank and swaying reeds. A dog ambles along the water’s edge, a cock crows in the distance.
Like many locals, Milad and his family depend on the wildlife in and around the water for their livelihood. He does his part, but—as observed from a camera gliding calmly over the water—that doesn’t mean his day is exactly demanding. On the way to his fishing nets, he has plenty of time to linger. He plays a tune on a straw, takes a nap in the boat, and cooks himself some fish.
The beautiful shots with hardly any dialogue show an apparently relaxed life, far away from the tyranny of mobile phones. Yet Milad’s life is by no means carefree, and here, too, the threat of drought and pollution looms.