Against a background of melting ice Silent Snow focuses on a prelude to a worldwide problem of dramatic proportions: the poisoning of humans and animals by dangerous pesticides (Persistent Organic Pollutants – POPs), like DDT. Via currents in the ocean they reach the artic where they accumulate in plankton, fish and bigger animals like seagulls and polar bears. But they also travel through the air as they attach to snow and end up in the environment when the snow melts.
Inuits in Greenland eat the fat of seagulls and whales, which used to protect them against diseases and provided vitamins lacking elsewhere in their frozen country with little edible vegetation. Now, however, it ruins their health because the chemicals accumulate, especially in this fat. High POP levels in the bloodstream leads to a significantly lower IQ in children and in the Inuit communities already twice as many girls as boys are being born. And even though the first signs of this pollution have become especially visible in the artic, the pesticide pollution will sooner or later affect the entire world.
JAN VAN DEN BERG
Jan Van den Berg is a producer and director, who, in the early seventies, started making films from his original field of study of cultural antropology and later founded DRS Film, a production company specialising in documentaries. His work focuses on people at the cutting edge between cultures. Im Drs Film he works togheter with writers, artist and filmmaker. A selection of his film included:
DEACON OF DEATH" "LOOKIING FOR JUSTICE IN TODAY'S CAMBODIA" (first prize foe feature lengh documentary, Dutch Film Festival nel 2004)
"SEVEN DREAMS OF TIBET" (2001 nominated for a Dutch Accademy Award September 2002) e TAMING THE FLOODS (2000 nominated Dutch Accademy Award 2001)