The poisoning of the world by pesticides has already dramatically been felt in the arctic. In Silent Snow Pipaluk Knudsen Ostermann travels around the world looking for the causes and world wide dillemmas of this problem. A short 14 minutes trailer film within the Silent Snow project had it's premiere at IDFA, is shown at festivals and schools all over the world and received 12 international awards and honorable mentions.
An Inuit search for solutions to the chemical poisoning of the world.
A silent assassin is destroying the Inuit community in Greenland. Chemical residues from all over the world accumulate here invisibly, poisoning humans and animals. Via currents in the ocean and attached to snow, pesticides like DDT are carried northbound into Inuit land, causing illness and premature death. Silent Snow is a documentary project investigating, together with the people who are affected the most, what turns out to be a structural pollution of the entire global environmental system.
The Silent Snow project
The Silent Snow project aims to raise awareness of this problem and consists of both a short and a feature length documentary by Jan van den Berg, educational material for schools and this website. In the short film the subject is introduced by following two young girls in Greenland and the way in which they are confronted with the pollution of their environment.
In the feature length documentary a young Inuit woman travels around the world looking for the causes of this pollution. As such the film highlights not only the consequences in the polar region, but also the causes and dilemmas, such as the use of DDT against malaria in Africa. This film will premiere fall 2010.
Partners include the Buddhist Broadcasting Foundation, Lichtpunt and TVP Poland, the NCDO, Greenpeace, the Dutch Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment (VROM) and Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV). Fore more information about partners please click here.
The 14 Minute Short Film
“Two girls examine the incomprehensible environmental damage that is poisoning their heritage, Greenland, and the only home their ancestors have known for thousands of years. Stunning cinematography captures this most timely issue”
World Wide Short Film Festival, Canadian Film Centre
Please click here to watch a 3 min. trailer.
Since its premiere at the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) November 2007, the 14 minute Silent Snow short film has been selected for over 20 international film festivals,such as Sapporo Short Fest Japan, Los Angeles Film Festival and World Wide Short Film Festival Toronto and won two awards for Best Short Film (at the Green Film Festival Seoul and Slow Food on Film Festival Bologna). It has been sold to The Short List, airing on Cox and PBS channels to some 5-7 million viewers in the United States. Furthermore it has been embedded in educational packages on human rights and the environment in The Netherlands by the International Polar Year and Czech One World in Schools program. drsFILM is currently producing the feature length follow up documentary (90 minutes), which has a planned premiere in Fall 2010.
The Feature Length Documentary
The feature documentary continues where the short film has left off. It’s time to go all around the world and find out what is causing this quiet disaster. Please find below a synopsis for the documentary currently in development. The premiere is planned for fall 2010. We are currently seeking additional sponsors. Please click here to contact us if you are interested.
In the seemingly pure plains of the Arctic a group of experienced Inuit starts out on a dangerous dog-sledge expedition through their barren land. But while the global warming and disappearing icebergs are problems they can perceive directly, the pollution of their land remains a hard to imagine threat.
Interwoven with the polar expedition, Silent Snow follows a young Greenlandic woman on her journey all around the world to find the local causes of the contamination which is quietly poisoning her people.
In different continents she meets the people behind the sources of pollution and discovers the heartbreaking dilemmas that lie at the heart of it. For example in Africa, where some people are looking for alternatives for DDT, however its grey poisonous clouds are a cheap way of saving millions of lives in malaria prevention. The disastrous health issues that result on the long term are conveniently put aside. In the US fish from the Anacostia River is all the poor local black community can afford, and they have no choice but to ignore the warnings from concerned researchers.
While the Inuit would rather deny the problem at hand, it has become her difficult task to convince them of its severity. And while the expedition members’ wellbeing is subject to the condition of their environment, it becomes increasingly clear that their lives are not the only ones at risk in the delicate entanglement of nature and mankind.