The Hungry Tide
The Pacific nation of Kiribati is on the front line of climate change. Sea level rise is threatening the lives of 105,000 people in this vulnerable and forgotten corner of the Pacific. Maria Tiimon, a Kiribati woman living in Sydney, has been given the task of alerting the world to her sinking homeland. The film follows Maria from a small Sydney high school to the world stage. Shy at first, we watch her grow in confidence as she takes her country’s message to the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, and a year later to Cancun. Copenhagen ends in failure, and evidence emerges of Australia’s’ complicity in silencing Pacific nations. Back in Sydney Maria receives troubling news. Via the crackly CB radio link to her home island she finds out that her beloved father is very ill. She must return home immediately. Meanwhile in Kiribati storm tides are sweeping into villages and fragile sea walls are crumbling. The urbane President Anote Tong, acutely aware of these problems, says his government lacks the resources to fix them. The eventual relocation of his people is inevitable, he believes: “we have to assume the worst”.