Polluting ParadiseOriginal Title: Der Müll im Garten Eden / Cennetteki Çöplük
Director: Fatih Akın
Germany | Turkish
Acclaimed Turkish-German director Fatih Akın (Head-On
, The Edge of Heaven
, Soul Kitchen
) returns to the land of his ancestors with an activist documentary on a critical environmental issue. Set in Çamburnu, a small mountain village on the Black Sea coast where villagers have for centuries earned their livelihood through tea cultivation and fishing, Polluting Paradise
shines the spotlight on a devastating hazard that threatens this idyllic environment: the decision by the Turkish government, made ten years ago, to establish the region’s largest garbage landfill on the outskirts of the town.
The film exposes a heartbreaking transformation of the landscape: lush green plantations turn into desert as waste is dumped in the landfill every day. The air is polluted, the groundwater
is contaminated and the waste is flushed into the sea.
The villagers have been fighting hard against this ecological disaster. Akın follows them as they stubbornly protest against policymakers, in courts and on the ground. Despite the government’s resistance to back down, the villagers are determined not to give up until they save their land and their livelihood.
“The film is about human stupidity,' Faith Akın says, as well “as about civil courage.' Polluting Paradise is a portrait of an incessant fight to keep a tremendous natural heritage – a fight that should compel all of us to struggle for a world that we dream to live in.
– Özge Calafato