As the reindeer herding Nenets who live on Siberia's Yamal peninsula begin their summer migration, a gas plant kicks into gear on their land. Meanwhile, climate scientists examine alarming new phenomena: along with permafrost thaw, mysterious explosions are opening craters across the tundra. An exploration of myth, apocalypse and human relationships to nature, END OF LAND ("Yamal" means "End of Land") explores this precarious moment in planetary history through the lens of those living in Yamal.
As global temperatures reach unprecedented heights, Siberia's permafrost is thawing. In turn, scientists theorize organic matter trapped in the soil is now decomposing. Methane is released in the process, collects underground where pressure mounts and explodes. Scientists estimate there are 7,000 such methane pockets in Yamal that could "detonate" with increasing warming. Aside from contributing to global emissions, the thaw drastically alters the way of life for the people living in Yamal.
Documentary film is a powerful tool for building empathy, a necessary ingredient for building community and inspiring action around an urgent cause. As the planet faces the unprecedented challenge of climate change, we need empathy more than ever to relay our shared humanity - and the potential consequences the crisis have on us all. Our film will humanize this massive environmental issue by telling personal, thoughtfully observed stories of those living amid this rapidly changing landscape.
Our film will document a critical time of the irreversible transformation of the Arctic, as the region faces record temperatures, a rapid permafrost loss and raging forest fires. In doing so, the film will highlight the resilience and complexity of experience in Yamal, which will spread awareness about the challenges of those living amid precarity. But also, the stories will share hope: they will provide a preview of how we as humans might confront global climate change, and each other.
An illuminating article about the Nenets migration
Article on gas exploitation / expansion in Yamal