POV: Winter's Yearning
Monday, July 25, 2022 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV / On demand with PBS Video App
POV presents an intimate look at the citizens of a small fishing town in Maniitsoq, Greenland as they reckon with their Danish colonial past and a promising future by an American industrial company in the eye-opening documentary "Winter’s Yearning."
Greenland, officially named Kalaallit Nunaat, is a vast snowy island country, that most Westerners only know as a view from their trans-Atlantic jet window. In the cinematic documentary, “Winter’s Yearning,” co-directors Sidse Torstholm Larsen and Sturla Pilskog showcase the immense, isolating landscapes as well as the rich lives of the self-sufficient Greenlanders, who reside in the fishing village.
The film captures a nation’s struggle for economic independence when the U.S. aluminum giant, Alcoa Corporation, plans to build a multi-billion dollar smelting plant in Maniitsoq, which would make it the largest industrial operation in Greenland’s history. With the promise of economic renewal, this could be the first major step towards Greenlandic sovereignty.
Filmed over seven years, “Winter’s Yearning” focuses on the stories of three Maniitsoq residents during the project’s delays and eventual collapse: Kirsten Kleist Petersen, a young woman who works on the assembly line at a fish processing plant; Gideon Lyberth, a therapist and social worker; and bureaucrat Peter Soren Olsen, the town’s “aluminum coordinator” and the first Greenlander with a master’s degree. Through their uplifting stories the filmmakers track the dreams, lives on hold, and the human capacity to rise again.
Co-directors Sidse Torstholm Larsen and Sturla Pilskog said, “From the very beginning it has been our aim to do everything we could, to work on a micro level, and portray life from within. To tell stories from modern Greenland; allowing people that we rarely meet in the big media landscape to take the floor. The entire film was shot on location in the small and remote community of Maniitsoq, situated on the West Coast of Greenland,125 miles from the nearest neighboring town, but a place that today is influenced by globalization more than ever before. What does life look like from here? We, and the participants of the film, are very grateful and excited that ‘Winter’s Yearning’ will premiere on public media in the U.S. Hopefully it will invite viewers to broaden a greater understanding of not only Greenland, but also how it is to be a human being with responsibilities and dependencies no matter where you are situated in the world.”
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In addition to standard closed captioning, POV, in partnership with audio description serviceDiCapta, provides real time audio interpretations for audiences with sensory disabilities.
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A Blåst film (Norway), Bullitt Film (Denmark) and Ánorâk Film (Greenland) co-production American Documentary. Directed, written and developed by Sidse Torstholm Larsen and Sturla Pilskog and produced by Sturla Pilskog, Are Kvalnes Pilskog, Vibeke Vogel and Emile Hertling Péronard. The co-producers are Vibeke Vogel, Emile Hertling Péronard and Inuk Silis Høegh. Henrik Bohn Ipsen is the cinematographer, Åsa Mossberg is the editor and Mats Andersen is the colorist. Sound design and mixer by Niels Arild, music by Sebastian Öberg and poster design by Mia Sehlin.