VILLAGE AT THE’END OF THE WORLD
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 8 July 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.