DER Documentary

The Disappearing of Tuvalu: Trouble In Paradise


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by Christopher Horner and Gilliane Le Gallic
color, 75 min / 55 min, 2004








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A detailed overview of contemporary life in the tiny South Pacific country of Tuvalu, this film documents the earth's first sovereign nation faced with total destruction due to the effects of global warming. With a population of about 11,000 living on a total landmass of only 20 square miles – less than Manhattan – spread over nine low-lying atolls 600 miles to the north of Fiji, Tuvalu has been inhabited for over four millenia. The warm-spirited and highly community-oriented people of this ex-British colony struggle to survive economically while confronting the likelihood of having to evacuate their homeland en masse within the next 50 years.

As the industrial world just begins to address the threat and causes of global warming, rising seas and increasingly violent changes in climate have already left their marks on this poor island nation. The government of Tuvalu and other concerned organizations are directing their pleas for solutions to the wealthy countries whose high pollution emissions could be the central human contribution to this phenomenon. Observation, narration, and interviews with Tuvalu citizens from various walks of life flesh out a full portrait of a unique community confronting a dubious future on the front lines of a global environmental assault.


Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
Broadcast on Planete, documentary channel, France, April, 2004
Ecology & Sustainable Development Documentary Film Festival, Paris, 2004
First Place-Sustainable Development Category, ECOFILM, International Environmental & Sustainable Development Film Festival, Roubaix, France, 2004
22nd International Environmental Film Festival, Paris, 2004
Second Place-Pollution & Global Warming, Earthvision Environmental Film Festival, Santa Cruz, CA, 2004
2nd International Film Festival of Oceania, Tahiti, 2005
Association for Asian Studies Annual Meeting, Michigan, 2005
Hearts and Minds Film Festival, Delaware, 2005
Earth Day Screening, UCLA, 2005
Northeastern Anthropological Association Ethnographic Film & Video Festival, Lake Placid, NY, 2005
2nd Green Film Festival in Seoul, Korea, 2005
Festival of Science, Australia, 2005
Plymouth Independent Film Festival, Massachusetts, 2005
Planet In Focus Environmental Film Festival, Toronto, Canada, 2005
Hawaii International Film Festival, 2005
UN Conference on Climate Change, Montreal, 2005
PINE Film Festival, Portland, Oregon, 2006
Pacifika: New York Hawaiian Film Festival, 2006 (short version)
Yukon International Film Festival, Canada, 2006 (short version)
Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival, Ithaca, NY, 2007
EarthDance International Environmental Film Festival, CA, 2007
Tory Island Maritime Film Festival, Ireland, 2007
Northeastern Anthropological Association Conference, Ithaca, NY, 2007
Voices of the Waters Festival, Bangalore, India, 2007

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