People and Planet

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    What's up with us and our planet? Filmmakers invite us to contemplate a lot of information, learn, and ponder many questions! For instance: genetic engineering, our languages' link to nature and animals, searching for sustainability, and dealing with a future that is not so merciful to the past. 

    Items in this selection


    • Jan Kounen
    • 2019

    What does Greenland sound like at temperatures well below freezing? Electronic musician Molécule went on a journey with his microphone and translated the surroundings into this partly realistic, partly hallucinatory short VR-film.

    -22.7°C. The Full Dome Experience

    • 2019

    What does Greenland sound like at temperatures well below freezing? Musician Molécule went on a journey with his microphone and translated the surroundings into a thrilling electronic music film, which can be experienced once during IDFA as a dome performance in the ARTIS-Planetarium.

    A Legacy of Horses

    • Jessica Karlsson, Annika Karlsson
    • 2019

    Horses are part of everyday life in the working-class neighborhood of Ballymun in Dublin. This observational film shows how the love for our four-legged friends passes from father to son.

    A Tunnel

    • Nino Orjonikidze, Vano Arsenishvili
    • 2019

    As part of the Belt and Road Initiative, a new high-speed train from China is going to pass right through a tiny Georgian mountain village. Farmers see their fields crumbling as Chinese workers drill a tunnel. A surrealist parable about a changing world order.

    All Cats Are Grey in the Dark

    • Lasse Linder
    • 2019

    A tragicomic portrait of a Swiss man who’s so utterly devoted to his two beloved pedigree cats that they can justifiably be described as his life partners. Now one of them is expecting kittens, turning this unconventional household upside down.


    • Nadir Bouhmouch
    • 2019

    A major silver producer has been the scourge of Imider, Morocco for many years, but the villagers aren’t planning on backing down. The community’s ongoing protest reflects their resilience and comradeship.


    • Mo Scarpelli
    • 2019

    Ten-year-old Ethiopian Asalif and his mother were evicted from the plot of land where they grew food, to make way for a new housing development. Now he uses his imagination and ingenuity to find a place for himself in the changing landscape of his country.

    Burning Land

    • Juan Camilo Olmos Feris
    • 2019

    Colombia has its own form of bullfighting, with its own festival called the corraleja. With great visual flair and no commentary, this film focuses on preparations for the festival, the event itself, and especially the people watching.

    Climate Crimes

    • Adrian Lahoud, Michaela French
    • 2018

    A powerful visualization of the cyclical links between climate change, air pollution and global migration. Through projections of scientific data on a dome-shaped screen, cause and effect become clear.

    The Cordillera of Dreams

    • Patricio Guzmán
    • 2019

    In Chile, the peaks of the Andes are never far away—the mountain chain (cordillera) is the country’s rocky spine. The impassive, timeless landscape forms a moving contrast to the nation’s turbulent political history.

    The Crossing

    • Otávio Almeida
    • 2019

    In high-contrast black-and-white footage, accompanied by an expressive soundtrack filled with the sounds of nature, a man struggles through the Sierra Maestra, the mountain range that was the birthplace of the Cuban Revolution in the 1950s.


    • Nikolaus Geyrhalter
    • 2019

    A beautifully shot film about people whose job is to dig the earth, exploit it and make money from it, with virtually no regard for the consequences—all so we can maintain our demanding lifestyle. But who’s actually responsible in the end?

    Flower Punk

    • Alison Klayman
    • 2019

    Japanese artist and “punk florist” Azuma Makoto has sent his eccentric floral artworks up into the sky and down into the ocean’s depths. For him, flowers represent life and transience.

    Forest on Location

    • Persijn Broersen, Margit Lukacs
    • 2018

    In a replica of the last remains of Europe’s last primeval forest Białowieża, the avatar Shahram Yazdani sings his Farsi version of the popular hit song “Nature Boy.” Nature is presented as a virtual construct, meandering between the mythical and the actual.

    The Forum

    • Marcus Vetter
    • 2019

    Every year, the international elite gather at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland to talk privately about global issues. Marcus Vetter was the first filmmaker to be granted behind-the-scenes access.


    • Ilya Povolotsky
    • 2019

    A stylishly filmed portrait of a small, idiosyncratic community at the edge of the world. Whether stoical, rebellious or humble, the Russian protagonists determinedly chart their own course.


    • Camila Freitas
    • 2019

    Over the course of four years we follow a group of members of the Landless Workers’ Movement in Brazil, as they fight for agricultural land so they can build a better future for local people.

    Mars, Oman

    • Vanessa Del Campo
    • 2019

    From European astronauts to Omani Bedouins, it seems there’s something everyone has in common: a sense of wonder at the universe and our place within it. This heartwarming short film transcends global differences in language and culture.


    • Claudia Sparrow
    • 2019

    A big goldmine in Peru wants to expand operations, and that would mean swallowing up the little plot of land belonging to Máxima. But she’s not about to go down without a fight. With impressive tenacity she battles it out against greed and corruption.

    Men Are Hungry Too

    • Gabriele Licchelli, Andrea Settembrini, Francesco Lorusso
    • 2019

    Nostalgic images shot in square format blend the past and present of two Italians, who were challenged with escaping the poverty of their region decades ago. One left, the other stayed behind, but both were marked by their choice.

    Metodo dei Loci

    • Rebecca Digne
    • 2019

    An elephant walks through a park. With its proverbially infallible memory, this animal is a representation of the “method of loci,” a strategy for retaining information by arranging the memory as an architectural structure.


    • Leslie Lagier
    • 2019

    A beautifully styled portrait of the Yukon in Canada’s far northwest. Once, people came here to find freedom and fortune, but years of intensive mining have inflicted immeasurable damage on the landscape.

    Nostalgia for the Light

    • Patricio Guzmán
    • 2010

    A gorgeous portrait of the driest place on earth, the Atacama Desert in Chile, where astronomers and archeologists conduct scientific research while women search for the remains of loved ones who disappeared during the Pinochet era.

    Once the Dust Settles

    • John Appel
    • 2019

    Life was good in Amatrice (central Italy), Aleppo and Chernobyl until disaster struck. The survivors have resumed their lives, and now give sightseers guided tours of the devastation.

    Only Expansion

    • 2019

    Using real-time audio software, this site-responsive audio tour prompts participants to consider, in timescales both fleeting and geologic, how our relation to the landscape we inhabit is being altered by rapid climate change.

    Palace of Colours

    • Prantik Basu
    • 2019

    While villagers prepare for the annual Sohrai festival, a woman from the Indian Santhali people tells her version of the creation story according to oral tradition.

    Rising from the Tsunami

    • Hélène Robert, Jeremy Perrin
    • 2019

    In 2011, Japan was hit by a tsunami that killed more than 15,000 people. This sensitive trip along several coastal communities reveals how traumatizing the disaster has been.

    The Season When Velvet Antlers Get Ripe

    • Galina Leontieva
    • 2019

    In the Russian Altai Mountains, reindeer herders earn their living from the trade in antlers. Korean customers swear by their medicinal properties. Meanwhile, the herders complain that they lead a life of “slavery” in a declining economy.

    Sidik and the Panther

    • Reber Dosky
    • 2019

    If Sidik manages to spot a Persian leopard in his beloved mountains of Kurdish northern Iraq, the area can be declared a protected nature reserve. Will that finally bring peace? An ode to perseverance and peaceful patriotism.

    Smog Town

    • Meng Han
    • 2019

    Langfang is one of the most air-polluted cities. There, the interests of the local environmental protection bureau, which is under political pressure, clash with those of industry. A case study on China’s fight against pollution..


    • Ezequiel Salinas
    • 2019

    An unconventional journey into the memories of Argentina’s menacing Suquía River. Those who listen to him will hear that he’s overflowing with vengeful and jealous feelings about the people who live along his banks.


    • Simón Uribe Martínez
    • 2019

    Builders, rescue workers, engineers and curious day trippers each have their own view of the absurdity of a deadly road and an unfinished bridge in the jungle. The local community is paying the price for political arrogance.

    Sweet Salty Wind

    • Laura Gabay
    • 2019

    Three children wander along the Cuban coast. Here, in their own world, they are free. The sound of the wind and waves is their music, and shells are their toys. As the day slips by, we see a darker aspect to their intimacy and playfulness.

    To Those That Will, Ways Are Not Wanting

    • Paulien Oltheten
    • 2019

    Jacques Tati in Russia and Iran. Snow piles, posts, fences and much too narrow openings: the obstacles that people face on a daily basis are numerous. Wonderful observations of perseverance in two parallel worlds.

    The Tough

    • Marcin Polar
    • 2019

    A visually stunning, claustrophobic short film exploring a cave system in the Polish Tatra Mountains, accompanying the speleologist who discovered it. In these eerie caves, we experience how it must feel to descend into the unknown darkness.

    Towards a Fragmented Anatomy

    • Sachin Yaduvanshi
    • 2019

    A series of meditative images tell the story of India’s economic development, condensed into a single day. In this collective coming-of-age story, nature makes way for buildings and roads as an ominous evening approaches.

    The Whale from Lorino

    • Maciej Cuske
    • 2019

    A keenly observed portrait of the remote town of Lorino, in the far northeast of Siberia. Endangered whales are still hunted here, due to tradition but mainly out of bitter necessity.

    You Think The Earth Is a Dead Thing

    • Florence Lazar
    • 2019

    The use of pesticides on banana plantations on the Caribbean island of Martinique has polluted large areas of land. Local people counter this toxic crisis by implementing new ways of land use, rooted in traditional local knowledge.