[Icelandic] = water
In this film, water, or vatn, contemplates its nature within the ecosystem of Iceland. Water is the protagonist, a powerful voice to be reckoned with, while also aware of its role in the environment.
Today, a few powerful corporations have created industry which, for the first time, significantly threaten the manner in which water has always spoken, and flowed through Iceland. If this continues, the earth will lose the pure sound of wisdom from this ancient source.
Will we preserve this environment?
ENRIQUE PACHECO. NATURAL PHENOMENON.
Enrique Pacheco studied photography and documentary filmmaking in Madrid at EFTI, Instituto del Cine de Madrid, and FP Atocha. Enrique’s first documentary, Al Calor de las Chimeneas, (In the Heat of the Chimneys) examines industry and climate change in Spain.
Enrique’s career changed when his equipment was stolen. At that point, he decided to do the only thing which made sense at the time: that was, move to Iceland. There, he started over with some of nature’s most volatile subjects, such as live volcanoes, glaciers, waterfalls, fjörds, and the authentic Icelandic culture.
Since 2008, he has taught specialized workshops in DSLR timelapse and filmmaking. Enrique has contributed to Quesabesde.com and HDSLR.es and regularly expresses well-traveled reviews of photo technology on his blog.
Enrique work revolves around documenting the beauty of earth. His hope is to inspire viewers to fall in love again with their own nature and environment. You can read more about his story here.
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What inspired you to make this film in the first place?
I think my main inspiration is nature and landscape. The contact with the environment is very close in Iceland, I feel a part of what surrounds me, and that helps me do my job. From the first time I came to Iceland in 2008, I was strongly affected by the energy given off that island. It is a big source of inspiration for me and for many other artists.
In this film, you say that water is a protagonist. Does that mean there is an antagonist?
No doubt, I think that we, human beings are the antagonists. We are changing the life cycle of water. This film is for water conservation. Instead of talking about water, I decided to personify water, give it voice, so we can hear it.
A handful of corporations have made a few dams. Is it really that big of a deal? Isn’t water able to take care of itself?
The big corporations only think about money, if it’s profitable to bring the aluminum from Australia to Iceland and process it there, because energy is cheaper, they will. And for this they have to flood vast areas of land. Iceland has a huge source of water through glaciers, which means it has the ability to generate a lot of electricity at low cost, since it doesn`t depend on fossil fuels. But that energy can not be considered completely clean, for wide open spaces of high ecological value will be flooded, in many cases destroyed, by building dams. Iceland is one of the last places on earth where we can see nature in its purest form, untouched by human hand, but how long will it be?
I think the problem is that we take for granted that water is something that belongs to us, as well as the right to dispose of it anywhere. And we forget that the water was here long before us, and surely will continue after we are gone. We forget that we are part of it, and live by it. We forget that we need a balance with the other elements of the earth and living creatures. We just think of our more selfish interests, ignoring any alarm signal to our attacks to the environment. I believe that water transcends beyond the human being, but perhaps only treating it as one of us, we can understand its fundamental value.
Are there any other elements you are going to film? Will there be a Fire, an Air, or an Earth?
It’s something that crossed my mind, my previous film “Winter in Hell” had a lot of the other elements. It is actually divided into Ice and Fire, in equal parts. On one hand the great glaciers and icebergs, and on the other the volcanic eruption of 2010 Eyjafjallajökull. Right now I am in preproduction on my next film, a more social documentary that also takes place in the magnificent Icelandic landscape. Soon I can give more details.
What is so special about the water in Iceland?
Just traveling around the island you realize that water permeates everything. Endless wide rivers from glaciers, impossible waterfalls, rain, hotsprings, snow, icebergs floating in majestic lagoons, and especially the sea that surrounds everything. The human being knows that water is wealthiness, and the source of life. In Iceland it is everywhere, in all states, free, pure, as it has been for millions of years.
Interview by Barbro Rakos.