For most Documentarians, a camera, mic, and tripod are the most important equipment. This Alaskan couple first requires fatbikes, packrafts, and warm sleeping bags to make their film, as they travel hundreds of miles over the rugged terrain of the Alaskan wilderness. Through mosquito tsunamis and sub-zero temperatures, Bjorn and Kim discover firsthand just how enormous the influences of open-pit gold mining in the roadless wilderness could be.
Life in the 'Bush' is hard by many standards. A subsistence fisherman realizes that the salmon run will not be enough to support his family. An Iditarod dog musher takes a wrong turn and winds up 50 miles off track in the middle of the night. Meanwhile, a multi-national mining conglomerate seeks feasible profits in a place that is hundreds of miles from existing infrastructure.
'Where the Heck is Donlin?' Most Alaskans have never even heard of the Donlin Gold Mine, despite the fact that this proposal would dwarf every gold mine in the state's history. Information on this project is scarce, and failed to answer many of Bjorn and Kim's critical questions. So they took their inquiry to the trail, to meet people see the land, and learn about the social, economic, and environmental impacts of large-scale mineral development in this rural region.
It turns out that Donlin is possibly just around the bend, but what exactly this spells for the fate of the Kuskokwim region, and Alaska at large, is still very vague. The purpose of this film is to ignite conversation, raise awareness, and promote critical thinking as decisions are being made now that will affect future generations for centuries and perhaps millennia to come.
Link to Dancing Man Knives and Ulus: http://dancingmanknives.com/
- (21 days)