2022 | Netherlands | Documentary,Experimental

The Antarctic Gardener

  • English - 24 mins
  • Director | Elisa Strinna
  • Writer | Elisa Strinna
  • Producer | Elisa Strinna

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An androgynous scientist lives confined to the ice of Antarctica, taking care of a closed artificial ecosystem for space colonization. Virtual relationships, artificial suns, and nutrients dissolved in the air are the core of a crystallised world pervaded by the emotional temperature of extreme isolation.
In the astonishing but hostile frozen desert, the antarctic gardener follow a strict routine to endure solitude. Their only companions are plants, growing enclosed in an uninterrupted artificial cycle, regardless of weather and seasons.

The film is a creative documentary mixing archive footage of the EDEN ISS project with fiction. EDEN ISS is a test facility for plant cultivation in extreme environments at the Neumayer-Station III, Antarctica (AWI, DLR). Since 2017, it has been tested as a modular unit that could be attached to the International Space Station or to a possible colony on the moon.

"The Antarctic Gardener" blurs the boundaries between reality and fiction, delving into a future that already feels present, reminiscent of science fiction narratives.Inspired by research on Bio-regenerative Life Support Systems (BLSS) and the global pandemic of covid19, it digs into questions such as: if human life became possible only in the interior of closed artificial environments, what would our existence be? What future are we looking for?

antarctica frozen desert artificial Gardener scientist sci-fi ecosystem colonization virtual nutrient cultivation sci-fi future covid environment