'Lowland Kids,' Short Doc on 'America's First Climate Refugees,' Now Streaming on HuffPost.com
Sandra Winther directed RYOT Films production about kids on Louisiana's sinking Isle de Jean Charles
The new short documentary Lowland Kids, about two teens living on an island on the Louisiana coast that's disappearing as a result of climate change, is now streaming for free on Huffpost Short Stories.
Sandra Winther directed the 22-minute-long film that centers on brother and sister Howard and Juliette Brunet, who grew up on Isle de Jean Charles but will soon have to leave the only home they've ever known. The siblings and the uncle who raised them are considered to be among America's first "climate refugees."
"In 2016, the island community became the first in America to receive U.S. federal aid to relocate all its residents by 2024 due to the effects of climate change," the film's website explains. "After providing a safe haven for its people for over 150 years, the island is quickly becoming uninhabitable."
The island’s residents have fought long and hard to protect the land, but it’s too late to save what’s left.
Winther, a Danish native who is now based in New York, spent extensive time with the Brunet kids and their uncle Chris Brunet to make her film, capturing a bucolic lifestyle the family members are reluctant to surrender. It's nominated in the Outstanding Short category for the Cinema Eye Honors.
"If you had a chance to grow up over here, it's something I think you wouldn't want to forget," Chris Brunet says in the film. "I know that 50 years down the road Isle of Jean Charles could be gone. There'll be nothing."
RYOT Films produced the documentary, which held its world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival last March. To watch the film, click here.
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on Deadline.com, CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and in Documentary magazine.