The Village At The End of The World - Preview
Preview by Jack Foley
WITH a population of just 59 hardy souls, Niaqornat, North West Greenland, is not just one of the remotest, coldest and most far-flung corner of the earth: it is The Village At The End Of The World, which comes to DVD on July 8, 2013 after its successful run in UK cinemas, courtesy of Dogwoof.
This fascinating feature documentary from British director Sarah Gavron (Brick Lane) and husband David Katznelson (Downton Abbey), follows the community over the course of a year as they try their best to save their village, which will have to be relocated to the nearest town if the population falls below 50.
The film explores life in such a remote place by introducing us to some wonderful characters that live there.
Lars the Teenager: “It is lonely being a teenager here – there are no internet cafes, no bars, just the shop.” Lars has never ventured further than a few miles up the coast but has a rich virtual life, chatting to his 200 Facebook friends across the globe, and keeping up to date with the latest trends. Lars is the next generation, he doesn’t want to hunt, he has other plans.
Karl the Hunter: is the most respected hunter in the region and as the head of the village is in charge of the efforts to re-open the fish factory. Karl manages to combine the benefits of living in the 21st Century with maintaining the age-old customs, but is concerned that the increasingly unstable ice and modern aspirations of the villagers mean the hunters way of life, once so vital to the existence of the community, will end with the next generation.
Ilannguaq the Outsider: originally from South Greenland he moved to Niaqornat for love, having found his girlfriend online. He has taken the job no one else wants, the daily collection of the bucket toilets from each home in a village without running water. After five years in the village he finally feels he belongs, and keen to help his neighbours make a viable living he sets up a local tourism service.
Annie, the Oldest lady in Niaqornat: She can’t imagine living anywhere else and is related to almost all her neighbours. Annie can remember when the community relied on seal blubber for light, and lived just from what they caught locally, before the introduction of the regular supply ship. Annie personifies a connection to the old life and makes the idea of the village disappearing loaded with poignancy.
Village At The End Of The World reflects the dilemmas of most small communities all over the world, but this one just happens to be in one of the remotest spots on earth.
Special features include deleted scenes (Hole Fishing, First Day at School, Icebergs, Polar Bear Counting, and The Tupi-lighter), an interview with filmmakers Sarah Gavron and David Katznelson, the UK trailer and a short film by Sarah Gavron, Girl in the Layby.
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Running time: 76mins
UK DVD Release: July 8, 2013