Wade

Humans’ concerns about climate change have been coming through in the art world for a few years now. Natural thing as whatever preoccupies us like war, race relations, zombies or an apocalypse comes through in sculpture, painting, film, and other art forms. Most of the planet has accepted (well, before the present pandemic kinda knocked it to second place) that climate is the number one concern faced by each and every one of us, no matter where we live. The concerns may be about different things like increase in severe weather, rising temperatures, forest fires, drought or rising water levels. In a country like India it seems like the latter is on their minds.

Co-directed by Upamanyu Bhattacharyya and Kalp Sanghvi, Wade takes place in a city in India. The city is Kolkata and it has been victim to rising water levels. As most crises do, those most affect are poor people. Those not able to adapt or move because of lack of money. It is a city where the streets are flooded to waist level. Basically it seems unlivable. A group of people are moving along slowly through the water. Maybe looking for a dry spot.

The climate change in Kolkata has rendered these people climate refugees. With nowhere to go they are subject to all kinds of insecurities. One family in particular is walking down a street pulling a young girl on a raft made of plastic water bottles. Suddenly danger is right in front of them in the form of a tiger.

All the adults flee leaving the young girl to fend for herself. After ripping apart an adult the tiger, who has now been joined by other tigets, turns its attention to the seemingly helpless girl. It doesn’t look good.

The animation here is stunning. Really eye catching despite the fact it looks rather old fashioned. I don’t mean that in a bad way, just saying it looks hand drawn.

Filmmakers, or the best of them, attempt to engage. They draw you in with story and characters. Taking on issues of the day. Making us think and address what is happening on this planet we live on. Here Bhattacharyya and Sanghvi take on what climate changes will mean for humans and animals. Will the two fight for whatever livable space there is left? The world here is a warning about what will happen if we don’t do something about climate change. Now!

This short film (roughly 10 minutes in length) has been screened at many festivals like Palm Springs, Krakow, Brooklyn, ITFS Stuffgart and many others.

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