EXCLUSIVE

Gyalmu’s house

14 minutes

Hunting for Hockney

3 minutes

Hurricane Katrina, frame by frame

6 minutes

A woman like me

9 minutes

The super zoom

3 minutes

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After a landslide destroys her village, a woman rebuilds her life in a changed landscape

‘What can I say? Is there a God or not?’

On 25 April 2015, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake triggered landslides in the Himalayas of Nepal, killing nearly 9,000 people. Some 300 residents and tourists in Langtang village were killed, including roughly half of its permanent residents. Those who survived found their homes – and lives – almost entirely destroyed in an instant. Gyalmu’s House traces the perseverance of one survivor, Nima Gyalmu Lama, as she struggles to come to terms with her tragic new reality a year later. With a great many of her relatives, including her daughter, lost in the landslide, Nima, along with her husband and other surviving villagers, work to build a new home, brick by brick. While she still approaches life with grace and humour, Nima wonders what, if any, God could have allowed such a tragedy to befall her village.

Director: Asmita Shrish, Gavin Carver

Website: Dhaulagiri Films

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A dreamy animated tale of grief, friendship and a road trip to David Hockney’s house

‘You were too young to lose your mum. And we were too young to be organising a funeral.’

When her friend’s mother died, the UK filmmaker Alice Dunseath and her friend set out on an unplanned road trip through Yorkshire, mostly because they didn’t know what else to do. The only destination they gave themselves was the house of the artist David Hockney, supposedly somewhere in the town of Bridlington. Dunseath’s brief animation echoes some of Hockney’s signature stylistic flourishes, including dreamlike landscapes and saturated colours, but her narration offers an arresting counterpoint to the images – a simple, aching account of how grief can both heighten and numb the senses, render words meaningful and meaningless, and make goals simultaneously important and absurd.

Video by Alice Dunseath

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Who is ‘looting’ and who is ‘finding food’? How image gatekeepers shape the news

In August 2005, Alysia Burton Steele was just two months into her job as a photo editor on The Dallas Morning News when she decided to dispatch the photographer Irwin Thompson to New Orleans to document the impact of Hurricane Katrina. Her newspaper’s bold journalistic work went on to win a Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography in 2006. In this short interview, Burton Steele describes how her team approached their coverage of the storm and its aftermath, and discusses the telling disparity between how news outlets presented African Americans and white people affected by the tragedy. This video is part of Topic’s Frame by Frame series, in which ‘celebrated photojournalists explore images of the people and events that helped shape the American experience, and discuss how working with photographs impacts them personally’.

Director: Yvonne Michelle Shirley

Producer: Jennie Bedusa

Website: Topic

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When a deafblind woman from Denmark met a woman like her in Nepal

‘I dreamt I was the deafblind woman we visited … And there was no information, nothing, just isolation.’

Sensory experience, cultural differences and degrees of privilege collide in a meeting between two deafblind women: Dorte Eriksen from Denmark and Budhi Maya Gurung from Nepal. Commissioned by the Danish Deafblind Association to document a trip to help deafblind people in Nepal, the Mexican-Danish filmmaker Isabel Morales Bondy found herself filming the two women’s remarkable encounter. A Woman Like Me is assembled entirely without spoken words. Instead, viewers get to see as if through Eriksen’s eyes and hear only what the director does as witness to the women’s language of touch. Acknowledging the opacity of this experience, Morales Bondy chose not to subtitle the women’s meeting, prompting profound questions about language, communication and human connection. 

Director: Isabel Morales Bondy

Producer: Lars Feldballe Petersen

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A quantum odyssey from the tip of a pen to the dark side of human knowledge

The classic short film Powers of Ten (1977) propelled viewers on a journey from a Chicago park into deep space and then back down to the scale of a single proton. In The Super Zoom, the Brazil-based graphic designer Pedro Machado’s visualisation dives even deeper into the realm of the subatomic and theoretical. While the original film by Charles and Ray Eames zoomed in to a scale of 10-16 metres at most, Machado’s film draws on 40 years of quantum research – not to mention significant advances in 3D rendering technology – to drill down to the unfathomably small scale of 10-33 metres, brushing up against the limits of human knowledge and imagination. The mindbending animation uses a framework of quantum gravity in which a gravitational field exists at these smallest conceivable scales.

Director: Pedro Machado

Aeon for Friends

Find out more

After a landslide destroys her village, a woman rebuilds her life in a changed landscape

‘What can I say? Is there a God or not?’

On 25 April 2015, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake triggered landslides in the Himalayas of Nepal, killing nearly 9,000 people. Some 300 residents and tourists in Langtang village were killed, including roughly half of its permanent residents. Those who survived found their homes – and lives – almost entirely destroyed in an instant. Gyalmu’s House traces the perseverance of one survivor, Nima Gyalmu Lama, as she struggles to come to terms with her tragic new reality a year later. With a great many of her relatives, including her daughter, lost in the landslide, Nima, along with her husband and other surviving villagers, work to build a new home, brick by brick. While she still approaches life with grace and humour, Nima wonders what, if any, God could have allowed such a tragedy to befall her village.

Director: Asmita Shrish, Gavin Carver

Website: Dhaulagiri Films

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Essay/
Nature and landscape
Rooted

What if, rather than mere props in the background of our lives, trees embody the history of all life on Earth?

Dalia Nassar & Margaret M Barbour

Essay/
Thinkers and theories
Secular pilgrimage

Visiting Wittgenstein’s home evokes the philosopher’s serious, ascetic mind (no doubt he would disapprove its restoration)

Julian Baggini