When the small remote town of Maniitsoq, Greenland is chosen as the site for American aluminum company ALCOA’s new smelting plant, the locals wait with bated breath for construction to begin. At a national level, the potential 3.5 billion dollar investment from ALCOA is a step toward a more diversified economy and could pave the way for the country’s ultimate goal of financial independence from Denmark. Surprisingly, this is not a launching point for the familiar NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) narrative that you may have come to expect. In the opening scenes, it’s made very clear that the community of Maniitsoq is overwhelmingly onside and joyfully anticipates the plant’s arrival. Largely made up of Greenlandic Inuit, the effects of colonization linger as residents struggle against issues of unemployment, addiction, and a general sense of isolation that is driving most of its younger people to leave the country for Denmark.
With the global financial crisis complicating matters, the film follows locals over the span of several years as the smelting plant’s fate remains unclear and the future of Maniitsoq and its residents hangs in the balance. Offering a unique and intimate glimpse into the lives of Greenlanders, this film is a testament to personal strength and a community’s resilience in the face of uncertainty. -CL