Alexander Abaturov / France, Switzerland / 2022 / 89 min
A fierce heat wave sets the sub-Arctic forests ablaze, but the authorities don’t care. Locals rally to extinguish the inferno and fight ‘the Dragon’ in a monumental cinematic film from the end of the world.
A small village lies shrouded in orange smoke and black ash. The forest is burning and the flames are fast approaching. But no one is waiting for help from the government, because the sparsely populated village is far from anywhere in north-eastern Siberia. And here, the Russian authorities have no obligation to fight wildfires. Left to their own devices, the villagers band together to tame the inferno they have dubbed the Dragon. The sparks are carried by the wind, the flames spread and the camera follows the men as they enter the red glow of the forest. ‘Paradise’ is an epic film in the grand cinematic format about forest fires, community and the rapidly changing climate of the polar region.