A film by Pauline Julier, Clément Postec
2023, 51 minutes
No. 423

The demand for lithium, which is needed for the massive batteries of electric cars, is unprecedented. But what impact is this having on the environment and the people who live and work next to these lithium mines?

It's winter 2021 in the Atacama Desert, Chile. In the backyard of one of the largest lithium mines in the world, various interlocutors appear before the camera to speak about what the land means to them. Among them are an indigenous woman fighting for water rights, scientists testing rovers in the arid landscapes, business executives hopeful and prospectif - the list goes on. They tell the story of the new age of exploration set against the backdrop of the lingering memory of colonization. 

The film team takes this epic and puzzling landscape like scientists eager to find life in space. The various voices entangle, their various longings at odds. Through the lens of the camera, the barren landscape of the desert begins to look like the Red Planet itself, the theater of so many of our science-fiction fantasies. It transforms Mars into a foggy, red crystal ball spelling new beginnings and the end of times for humanity.

Official Selection, Visions du Reel