Julie Bayer, who co-directed Time & Tide, a sad documentary about the island nation of Tuvalu, has stated: “We initially set out to do a film about the .tv deal [in 2000, Tuvalu leased this Internet domain name] thinking that the point of the film was going to be to sort of chronicle the effects of this $U.S. 50 million deal on the culture of Tuvalu. And once we were there we realised there is a much greater issue at hand, which was global warming and sea level rise.” Their film indeed interrelates two forces that are dooming Tuvalu to extinction, cultural and geographic: globalization and global warming.
the most concrete example of how Western industrialized society is having an impact on the entire planet. [Tuvaluans] are essentially the victims of the really profligate use of fossil fuels by the industrialized North—
for it is this that is expanding the sea, causing it to rise and swallow up the land, Harvard University’s Eric Chivian also notes that “we’re giving all this money with one hand and with the other hand we’re taking away land [Tuvaluans] have lived on for more than 70 generations.”
The occasion for the film’s narrative is the visit of Tuvaluan expatriates from New Zealand—for elders, their first sight of their homeland in twenty years, and for the younger generation, their first sight of their ancestral land ever. As the tourists note the dissolution of a communal sense on the island, the intrusion of Western influence, and the disappearance of land and homes, Bayer and Josh Salzman’s gentle film conjures some of the melancholy of Werner Herzog’s Herdsmen of the Sun (1988), which documents the fragile character of the Wodaabe people who are disappearing from Africa.
B(U)Y THE BOOK
MY BOOK, A Short Chronology of World Cinema, IS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM THE SANDS FILMS CINEMA CLUB IN LONDON. USING EITHER OF THE LINKS BELOW, ACCESS THE ADVERTISEMENT FOR THIS BOOK, FROM WHICH YOU CAN ORDER ONE OR MORE COPIES OF IT. THANKS.