CZ, NO, SK

2022

75 min,

52 min

Post production

The Visitors

Návštěvníci

Directing: Veronika Lišková

Synopsis

Zdenka is a social anthropologist, wife of polar ecologist Jakub and mother of three sons. She has received a prestigious two-year grant for extensive research mapping the impact of globalization on a community living in the world's northernmost town - Longyearbyen in Svalbard. In February 2019, the whole family left for a place that has witnessed dynamic changes in recent years - the climate is changing and mining has been replaced by science and tourism as people from all over the world move to this visa-free zone for work.
Zdenka arrives in Svalbard full of emotions and with hope that Longyearbyen will become her true home. After initial hurdles, the whole family acclimates to their new reality quite smoothly. Zdenka’s research progresses well and she feels happy. She enjoys the opportunity to live in an international community and in a place that offers both a comfortable and simple life. All that, right by one of the last landscapes unaffected by man.
However, Zdenka’s personal dream of a basically ideal, cosmopolitan utopia in the Arctic soon runs into a less than ideal image. As the number of Zdenka's key respondents grows, she starts perceiving how heterogeneous the small local community is and how many tensions are hidden in the town. Zdenka soon understands that the rights and opportunities of people living in Longyearbyen are very much affected by what their passport says. The town is revealed to her as a place that many locals call their home, yet feel alien about at the same time. As a non-Norwegian, Zdenka starts to experience some pressures herself. She also increasingly questions her right to live in a place where the life of each individual has one of the biggest CO2 footprints. With the assistance of her supervisor, the world-renowned anthropologist Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Zdenka slowly assembles the puzzle of the complicated reality and draws up a plan of how she can try to change the place that has become her temporary home for the better.

Trailer

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