Samuel in the Clouds


May 17 – May 23, 2021

Samuel In The Clouds 1 <i>Samuel in the Clouds</i> [Samuel Bulutlarda] (2016) filminden bir kare ©Deckert Distribution<br />
Still image from Samuel in the Clouds (2016) © Deckert Distribution

Samuel in the Clouds (2016)
Director: Pieter Van Eecke
70 minutes
English, Spanish, Aymara; Turkish and English subtitles

In Bolivia, the glaciers are melting. Climate experts predict that within ten to fifteen years the population of the Andes will face severe water shortages due to the disappearance of the glaciers. Samuel, the only ski lift operator, is a first-hand witness to this change. The ancient glacier on top of the divine Chacaltaya Mountain is gone forever. Through generations, Samuel’s family has lived and worked in the now melting snowy mountains. Despite this reality, Samuel hopes to find the ski slopes of times past and carries on honoring the ancient mountain spirits. Even though he is no longer paid, he still manages the ski lodge, hosts small groups of tourists, and makes them tea. Instead of skiing, tourists take in the views, while Samuel and his wife contemplate whether he can carry on doing his job.

In the meantime, a small group of climate scientists record data in their lab near the ski resort, noting the rate of glaciers melting; they discuss, measure the ominous changes, and worry about the seemingly irreversible temperature shift that may likely lead to drought in the region. Through the documentary film, Pieter Van Eecke explores the sharp contrast between Samuel’s personal story and the work of the scientists.

SALT’s Is this our last chance? program is supported by its founder, Garanti BBVA. The films will only be accessible to online audiences in Turkey.