Skip to main content


Australia, 2011 (MIFF 2011, Australian Showcase)

Director: Tom Zubrycki

“This is a marvellous film, strong in narrative, imagery, argument and character.” - Inside Story

Seasoned filmmaker Tom Zubrycki (Molly & Mobarak, MIFF 2003; The Diplomat, MIFF 2000) shows the very human face of climate change with this urgent documentary.

In his latest work, Zubrycki grapples with the human toll of climate change: specifically, the hungry tide slowly drowning the Pacific nation of Kiribati, the lowest-lying nation on earth.

Maria Tiimon, a Kiribati woman living in Sydney, is passionate about her homeland and is determined to raise the world's awareness of its predicament. Shy at first, we watch her grow in confidence as she takes her country's message to the Copenhagen Climate Conference, and a year later to Cancun.

However, right from the start, Maria's struggles to find a balance between her personal life and her advocacy work. Her family back on the islands is increasingly dependant on her support, and there's a burgeoning relationship with a young man her father's never met.

Back on Kiribati the nation slowly deteriorates. Fragile sea walls are crumbling, and storm tides are sweeping into villages. The urbane President Tong says his county lacks the resources to fix these problems. The eventual relocation of his people is inevitable, he believes: “We have to assume the worst.”

One day Maria receives news from her family that her beloved father is very ill. She must return home immediately…

Tom Zubrycki is a guest of the Festival.

D/P Tom Zubrycki WS JOTZ L English, Kiribati w/English subtitles TD HD Cam/2011

See also...

vietnam symphony

When Hanoi was under threat of massive US bombing in 1965, students and teachers from the Conservatorium of Music fled to the countryside. There they re-established their school by building an entire ... More »


The Diplomat follows East Timor's freedom fighter and Nobel Peace Prize winner Jose Ramos Horta in the final tumultuous year of a passionate campaign to secure independence for the country. Allowed ... More »


Tom Zubrycki's documentary The Diplomat (MIFF 2000) focused on the struggle for independence in East Timor and its impact both politically and personally. In Molly and Mobarak, Zubrycki turns his ... More »


In February 1985 Queensland Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen sacked 1002 electrical linesmen and rushed through Parliament some of the harshest anti-union legislation seen in Australia for over 50 years ... More »


Illegal screenings of the unfinished Amongst Equals have taken place in a variety of forums across the country since January when controversy erupted in the media. But the issue remains unresolved ... More »


This film is about the history and politics of urban renewal in Australia Specifically, it is about the people of the inner-Sydney suburb of Waterloo and their nine-year battle to prevent theirsuburb ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director