Tuija Halttunen, Finland/Denmark, 2021, 80'
International Premiere
Tue. 10.8.2021, 11h00, La Sala
Wed. 11.8.2021, 9h00, Palacinema 1
Zonta Club Award 2021

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“Cloud Seeding”, the fertilisation of clouds: This technique is supposed to produce rain in the desert. Although the name is reminiscent of something very physical, almost sexual, the process is in reality very sterile, mechanical, unspectacular, and unexciting. Just like the conference rooms and seminar venues where scientists from all over the world hold their meetings to discuss the latest developments in the field and where heaps of men seek or grant funding. In the end, it is Finnish scientist Hannele Korhonen who obtains the 1.5 million dollar funding to produce rain in the United Arab Emirates. A feat somewhere between science fiction and miracles, which may only be accomplished by a determined, clever woman like Korhonen, who has a cynical sense of humour. But even her otherwise motionless face shows some doubts.

The documentary film by Finnish director Tuija Haltunen offers subtle and intelligent food for thought: The presence of women in science, the ethical and moral price that research has to pay to survive economically, the power of humans over nature, the central role of private funding in the field of research, the policy of specific realities in relation to human rights. Where does this ambition lead us? Can we explore new fields with blinkers in the name of science? And is it even right to let it rain in the desert? A sharply observant, slightly ironic documentary with a somewhat unusual protagonist, which gives the viewer plenty of room to answer the many questions raised.

Chiara Fanetti