Al Jazeera English Documentaries presents films on Climate Change ahead of United Nations Conference on Climate Change (Cop 27)

By CityLife Arts Writer

The Al Jazeera English Documentaries strand Witness presents two powerful films on climate change during the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, COP 27, taking place in Egypt.

Demonstrating that climate change is a global threat, the two films look at its effects on opposite poles of the globe. The one highlights the climate change impact in the south, on the natural bush fires in Australia and the other follows two scientists as they seek solutions to the permafrost thaw in the far north of Russia.

Capturing Change

Capturing Changea film by Chris Phillips, uses photographer Matthew Abbott’s photos of Australia’s catastrophic bushfire, as a warning to the world. Abbott’s apocalyptic image of a kangaroo fleeing bushfires of 2019/20 captured the world’s attention. This was the country’s hottest and driest year on record, and the fires were unlike anything the modern world had seen. An unprecedented 46 million acres were scorched, 3 billion animals killed or displaced and thousands of homes lost. After his images went viral, Matthew returned to the deadly flames battling toxic smoke and fatigue to photograph exhausted firefighters, overcrowded animal sanctuaries and traumatized victims. His goal is not just record events, but he hopes to inspire change. The film flights from 14 November.

  • Denis Sneguirev’s film The Zimov Hypothesiswhich airs from 9 November, sees two Russian scientistsSergey Zimov and his son Nikita, looking for ways to save the planet from climate catastrophe by reviving the Ice Age. Past the Arctic circle, in deepest Siberia, they are conducting a unique rewinding experiment. They are attempting to revive Ice Age methods to save the world from imminent environmental disaster. According to their Zimov Hypothesis, a large reintroduction of herbivores could stop the permafrost from thawing and releasing dangerous greenhouse gases. By reviving the prehistoric ecosystem, they believe they can counter the threat of climate change.

These two documentaries are amongst several others that focus on the climate crisis. The new series ‘First Nations Frontlines’ which will air later in November, shows four films looking at indigenous communities on the frontline of climate change.

Zimov Hypothesis

“Witness’s climate change films, to be shown during COP27, are extraordinary narratives on opposite spectrums of the climate problem,” says Ingrid Falck, Head of Documentaries AJE. “They focus on the issue of global warming and the challenge humanity faces in mitigating against what is now deemed a climate crisis. Documentary film is an immediate and impactful means to communicate the human experiences of this crisis to a wide audience, to get to the heart of the matter. We hope these films will have an impact on our global audiences, and make an impression, not only on policymakers and governments but on humanity at large, concerning the disaster unfolding before our eyes.”

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