“It makes you feel like you have no control, so it pushes people’s boundaries” says a man dressed as what I can only assume is a shaman or something along those lines. “It’s haunting, that’s the way to put it”, he says, sitting cross-legged in the middle of an empty Airstream holding a tail broom and a goblet of wine.
Santa Ana, One Day the Sun Turned Black, Ligne Noire, Invisible Blanket and Dulce cinematically draw us into the looming threat that is climate change and our reality of over-consumption. We’re drawn in by their imagery and storyline, only to later realize the deeper comment of the films; as if the directors knew we are all trying to ignore the impending doom that is our future on Earth.
Santa Ana uses such dramatic and, for lack of a better word, spooky imagery. The theme, it seems, is juxtaposition; quick changes from wide shots to blurred close-ups, calm and beautiful scenes to death and destruction. It is definitely meant to evoke something dark within you, especially paired with the hauntingly dramatic score. This film, which explores the eerie history of the Santa Ana winds in Tacopa, Southern California and how they affect the moods of the locals, blurs the lines between a documentary and horror feature as they juxtapose interviews with the locals, an ominous cloaked figure lurking in the background, and jarring imagery that cut quickly between scenes. These winds affect the locals to such a degree that by the end of the summer they are all a little ‘murderous and psychotic’.
A daughter deals with the burden of caring for her sick father in a world where the sun is too strong to go outside, if you’re white. White people must pigment their skin in order to venture into the real world, but Harmony’s father refuses to do so, therefore Harmony is his life line. This film, shown in black and white, shows not only a potential harsh truth of climate change. The most interesting scene for me highlighted the social issues that may come with this reality; white people who have pigmented their skin are scoffed at by people who are actually brown, Harmony was called a pig by the African American cashier when she bought chestnut shaded pigment. The film is calm, showing the day-to-day movements of a small household, however you can feel the sense of doom, the feeling of danger, similar to our current reality.
In Ligne Noire by Mark Olexa & Francesca Scalisi, a young woman walks the shoreline of a muddy mangrove pulling along a large fishing net. Nothing particularly astounding happens in this film, however the continuity and fluidity of the movement is quite mesmerizing. Children run past as they play, fellow fisherman chat with her as she passes, but mostly she strides on, splashing occasionally to usher the fish into the net. This is her life; this is her reality; walking the shore with a large oil-covered net trying to catch some food in what I can only assume is a heavily over-fished area.
Invisible Blanket by Pasha Reshikov is based on real events and published writings on the 1950s when the first scientific news about climate change came about and started to reach the masses via magazines and newspapers in the United States. The film starts with a young woman in the 50s sits in her kitchen listening to the radio and reading a Time Magazine about the climate change predictions, seeming almost far-fetched; as was most of the information in a publication that advertised cigarettes for good health. The end of the film shows the same woman, now much older in a modern world, reading the same Time Magazine whilst listening to the radio where they are talking about those exact predictions almost half a century before, only now they are a reality.
Dulce by Guille Isa Angelio Faccini, based in Columbia, USA, depicts a mother teaching her daughter to swim so that she can join in the daily harvesting in the mangroves. Dulce and her mother live a simple life, but her mother worries about her hesitation to learn how to swim; it is not safe to live so close to the water, work near the water, and be exposed to storms if you cannot escape. This film shows the worry of over-harvesting and how these locals work to preserve their mangrove forests.
About the author
Megan, a young South African, recently left teaching English in South Korea and is now a travel enthusiast who is currently focusing on releasing an organic, vegan and zero-waste cosmetic brand. She is interested in exploring environmental changes and how that influences humankind. Her brand focuses on making as little waste as possible and tries to provide waste-free solutions for her customers. Megan is also a hand-poke tattoo artist in her spare time.