Tickets for the 2014 Wisconsin Film Festival went on sale Saturday, and each day between now and the start of the festival on April 3, I’ll be zooming in on one of the more than 140 films playing at the festival. If you have suggestions about films you’d like to know more about as you’re planning your festival experience, let me know in comments.
“Village at the End of the World” (Sunday, April 6, 1:45 p.m., Capitol Theater)
Ever wanted to get away from it all? Sarah Gavron’s documentary “Village at the End of the World” takes the viewer to one of the most remote places on the planet — the tiny Greenland fishing village of Niaqornat. The remote location has a stark and eerie beauty, but it’s still very much on this planet. Even out there, in a village with 60 people, there is drama to be found.
Gavron (who last made the fictional film “Brick Lane,” which played Sundance Cinemas in 2008) and co-director David Katznelson focus on a short-term and a long-term problem the village residents are facing. The short-term problem is that the local fish-processing plant that employs many of them is about to close, and the residents worry if the economic hardship will cause the village to dissolve altogether. They talk about banding together as a co-op to buy the plant.
The long-term issue isn’t so easily fixed — it’s climate change, and the impact it is already having on the fishing waters that sustain their livelihood. Like “The Island President,” if nothing else, “Village” reminds an audience that a global problem truly affects all of the globe, including places we may have never heard of.
Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian praised the “gentle sweetness and charm” of “Village at the End of the World”,” while Time Out London called it “eye-opening and thoughtful.”
Only rush tickets remain for a screening on Thursday, April 10 at Sundance Cinemas, but for my money, the way to see such a strange and beautiful place as Niaqornat is on the big screen at the Capitol Theater as part of a special day of programming there on Sunday, April 6, and plenty of tickets remain for that screening.