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A film by Andrew Burton & Michael Kirby Smith

93 min.

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Synopsis

After decades of government inaction put them in the direct path of a slow-moving climate disaster, the Indigenous village of Newtok, Alaska, may still be able to keep their community intact, but their future hinges on the political willof those in power and finding the money to build a new village.

Water will erase Newtok, Alaska. Built on a delta at the edge of the Bering Sea,the tiny Yup’ik village has seen melting permafrost, river erosion and decayinginfrastructure for decades. Warming temperatures have turbo-charged erosionand the Ninglick River, once a mile away, now churns at the edge of the village.The 360 Yup’ik residents face an unprecedented challenge: To keep their cultureand community intact, they must relocate their entire village to stable groundupriver while facing a federal government that has failed to take appropriateaction to combat climate change. To flee the land they’ve known for millenniawould mean risking the future of traditional knowledge, language and culturalbonds. Either way, the people of Newtok will become climate refugees. NEWTOKfollows Della Carl, a single mother of three; Albertina Charles, a widowedcommunity leader and teacher; and Andrew John, a former Marine tasked withhelping relocate his community. It is a verité portrait of a village seeking justicein the face of climate disaster

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