Veronika Lišková, SVK/CZR/NOR, 2022, 85'
WORLD Premiere
Sat. 6.8.2022, 11h00, La Sala
Sun. 7.8.2022, 9h00, Palacinema 1

en / it / de / fr

How does it feel for a young anthropologist to move with her three young children and her husband from Prague to the city of Longyearbyen in the Svalbard Archipelago, where she will be working on a research project to explore how life is changing in the polar region? The film follows the protagonist Zdenka in her everyday life as a researcher and mother in a completely new environment. It is not only an expedition for Zdenka but also for the audience. We discover a part of the earth that looks like a foreign planet. Wide white surfaces and harsh weather conditions alternate with intimate interiors where the family meets. In Zdenka’s research project, residents of the city of Longyearbyen are being interviewed. The city counts over 40 nationalities and you don't need a visa to live here. It all seems perfect for a fresh start, yet climate change is omnipresent.

And Zdenka soon finds out that life there is not only about the problems of the icebergs and the dwindling permafrost, but also about the diversity of the local community and its political impacts. One of the few Norwegians willing to give information in front of the camera says to Zdenka and thus also to the film crew: “You shouldn’t be here. This is no place to stay. It changes too much, it has no soul: People come and go, just like in a Swiss ski resort, only with polar bears.”

Thanks to powerful landscape shots and subtly designed sound levels, we follow the process of an outer and inner transformation and make a profound and sensorial multi-layered experience.

Ruth Baettig