At the edge of the world, the Inupiaq people are fighting for survival. Kivalina documents life on this namesake island that teeters on the edge of the North Pacific. Once a nomadic people, the Inupiaq were relocated to Kivalina, Alaska, by the US government more than a century ago. Today, the community struggles to maintain itself in the face of forces largely beyond its control. Climate change threatens to drown the village under rising ocean levels. The neglect of a government thousands of miles away delays repairs to the crumbling sea wall that routinely fails to protect the island from the flooding caused by ever more frequent storms. And, as the melting ice opens up the north to resource extraction and tanker traffic, an oil spill would wipe out the whales and with it the community. The everyday lives of the Inupiaq people carry on under the weight of these impending disasters. Director Gina Abatemarco and her crew document traditional hunting and food preparation, coexisting with the frustrations of teenage boredom and bureaucratic intransigence. Kivalina shows the consequences of colonialism, economic exploitation, and bureaucratic neglect for this community while foregrounding the voices of the people themselves. Intimate and unflinching, the film shows the cultural as well as the environmental consequences of climate change.

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