Film Review – Between Earth and Sky: Climate Change on the Last Frontier
“Between Earth and Sky: Climate Change on the Last Frontier”, directed by EMMY award winning director Paul Allen Hunton, is a documentary about the effects that climate change has on Alaska, its native population, glaciers and the arctic soil. The documentary premiered nationally at the Wilson Center in Washington DC as part of the 25th Environmental Film Festival on March 15th, 2017. The screening was followed by a discussion with Executive Producer David Weindorf, Producer Austin Wideman, Scientist Lorene Lynn and Moderator Michael Sfraga.
The documentary was particularly powerful in capturing the undeniable effects climate change has on people and the soil in Alaska. After all, this northern state has experienced an average increase of 3 degrees F since 1949, according to the Alaska Climate Research Center.
Climate change is threatening the lifestyle of Alaskan natives, their traditions, their culture. The documentary describes the life of the Inupiaq people on the island of Shishmaref. This island has been home to this people for thousands of years, but sea ice retreat and increase in coastal storms are eating away on the shores of the island. The youth of this small village is fighting to keep their town and culture alive. In 2015, Esau Sinnok traveled to Paris for the United Nations Climate Change Conference to raise awareness for the Shishmaref’s fate. For this village life is a day to day struggle, and there seems to be little that can be done to improve the situation. Relocation of the village would cost 200 million dollars. Shishmaref is not the only community threatened to be swallowed up by the ocean.