Earth on Fire
In 2018, the lower Puna in Hawaii erupted, creating a surreal world of lava and fire as it destroyed forests, lakes, gardens, highways and more than 700 homes. National Geographic photographer Carsten Peter was there to capture it. In this short film, words aren’t necessary. The images of flowing rock, white-hot rivers, belching magma and glimmering fissures speak volumes about the forces at the center of the Earth.
In 2006, a blowout at an offshore natural gas drilling site set off a volcanic mudflow that destroyed 16 villages, thousands of homes and acres of lush rice fields in East Java, dispossessing 60,000 Indonesians. The owner of the gas company, Aburizal Bakrie, makes for a singularly callous villain, while the survivors, including Dian, who was 6 when the mud erupted, seem to represent all the past, present and future victims of unnatural disasters. Levees have been built and are continuously reinforced and raised to block the endless flow of mud while tourists visit the site to gawk at the vast destruction. Meanwhile, the survivors refer to the noxious smoke that blows their way as “Bakrie’s farts,” protest their fate and closely follow Indonesia’s 2014 presidential campaign as they await justice — and compensation, so they can afford to rebuild their lives. On-camera, Dian matures into an impressive resistance leader.