What if your homeland was swallowed by the sea?
We may be witnessing the start of a climate revolution. COP 21 was the most significant climate summit in the world’s history, the culmination of the efforts of many people over many years. President Obama has unveiled the America Clean Power Plan, a major proposal to cut power plant emissions. Pope Francis has released a 184-page encyclical which calls on one billion Christians to change their behavior toward the planet. And some of the world’s biggest companies, including Apple, Coca-Cola, Google, and Wal-Mart recently invested $100 billion in low-carbon projects. A paradigm shift may be occurring…
But it all comes too late for the Republic of Kiribati. The rising seas will engulf this island nation within the lifetimes of its current inhabitants, because they live barely above sea level. Their country will be drowned within the next 50 years, regardless of any investments or agreements.
Anote Tong, President of the Republic of Kiribati, is in the twilight of his final term. Soon, he will return to his small island nation to face the rising waters with his people as a common citizen. But first, he is embarking on one last whirlwind tour of the world’s power centers, climate conferences, and international forums in a desperate attempt to get economic and political leaders to understand that they must take action, significantly and soon, or his people’s fate will become their own.
Meanwhile, 34-year-old mother of six Sermary Tiare embarks on her own desperate journey as she flees Kiribati for New Zealand, torn between the pain of leaving her 19-month-old son behind in her country, and the knowledge that one day soon that country will be gone, and her homeland will be no more than a distant memory for her children.
Meet the people of Kiribati: the unseen victims of our frenzied and systematic exploitation of natural resources. Kiribati, where those who have contributed least to climate change are now forced to pay the ultimate price, far away from the news cameras and the centers of power.
Will the inhabitants of Kiribati be able to relocate their families with dignity? And can their cultural heritage survive the loss of their homeland?
Anote’s Ark will be the first feature film ever made in the Republic of Kiribati. It is an honor, and also a great responsibility, to tell this small nation’s story before it disappears.
Feature-Length Documentary coming in 2016
Directed by Matthieu Rytz
Produced by Bob Moore and Matthieu Rytz
Cinematography by Matthieu Rytz