CPH:DOX Review: Pleistocene Park

Sergey Zimov

The only way out of this climate crisis is for a unified and swift coordinated global response. In other words, we’re in a whole lot of trouble and the future looks grim. For all the froth and bluster politicians like to spout in front of the cameras, as soon as there’s any sign of a problem, they chuck green measures aside in favour of saving money. The only hope for the human race is that someone comes up with an entirely outlandish and ingenious solution.

Russian scientists Sergey Zimov and his son Nikita might just have the answer. They live deep in remote north-eastern Siberia. What started out as a state funded scientific study is now more of a labour of love. They hypothesise that by returning the tundra to grassland it will be possible to radically reduce greenhouse gas emission from the melting of the permafrost. To do this they need large herbivores. Lots of them. Pleistocene Park tells their story.

Pleistocene Park is a fascinating looks at what eccentricity and determination can achieve when focused in the right direction. Sergey is a real character and it’s his huge personality which has essentially dragged the experiment to this point. Now it’s the turn of the next generation. Luke Griswold-Tergis’ documentary is a loose and lively portrait of men on a mission. It’s a hopeful example of what can be done with the necessary will and resources.

Pleistocene Park screens at CPH:DOX.

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