New to VOD this week:
SAMUEL IN THE CLOUDS
Pieter Van Eecke
Docville, Docaviv, Nederlands, Docs Barcelona, Full Frame, Chicago, One World, Thessaloniki Doc, Washington DC Environmental, Beldocs, SF Green, Mountainfilm
A portrait of Bolivia’s only ski lift operator as he contemplates his future after climate change causes the permanent closure of the ski resort.
Samuel operated Chacaltaya’s ski lift like his father did before him, before the latter’s death years ago. He still manages the ski lodge, hosting small groups of tourists and making them tea, though he does not get paid anymore. Instead of skiing, tourists take in the views. Samuel and his wife contemplate what the future holds if he can no longer do his job. Meanwhile a small group of climate scientists record data in their lab near the ski resort, noting the rate of glacier melting, and worry about the seemingly irreversible temperature shift which may likely lead to drought in the region. Filmmaker Pieter Van Eecke takes a strictly observational approach and benefits from the photogenic scenery, but, as a whole, constructs a quiet, low-energy film that feels longer than it actually is.