Tuija Halttunen / Finland, Denmark / 2021 / 77 min / World Premiere
She has 3 years to make it rain in the desert. But at what cost? A Finnish scientist is caught in a dilemma between research, finance and freedom.

Hannele Korhonen has sky-high ambitions. When the Finnish scientist receives 1.5 million USD from the United Arab Emirates for a project, she sees the opportunity to give her vision a try and bring about the impossible: to make it rain in the desert. Science and technology are, in fact, in the process of interfering with nature’s order and inducing artificial rain over the arid but very wealthy oil state. But on the other side of the laudatory speeches, Hannele gradually sees that her generous sponsors are harbouring their own agendas. Politics and research are hard to separate, and soon the scientist from the far north is faced with an ethical dilemma, heralded by the quote by Goethe at the beginning of Tuija Halttunen’s highly topical film. Has Hannele, in fact, entered into a Faustian pact and put her scientific integrity at risk? And should we really tinker with ecosystems on such a large scale? She is not the only person who has to confront the diabolical dilemma at a time when research based on private funds is gaining ground.