Ciné-ONU: Samuel in the Clouds

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10 November 2016— “I’ve been worrying about climate change for many years and searching for a way to film it in a human way” – Belgian Director, Pieter Van Eecke at the screening of his film “Samuel in the Clouds” at The Flemish Parliament in Brussels.

In Bolivia, the glaciers are melting. Samuel, an old ski lift operator, is looking out of a window on the rooftop of the world. Through generations his family lived and worked in the snowy mountains. While scientists are discussing and measuring ominous changes, Samuel honours the ancient mountain spirits.

To mark the entry into force of the historical Paris Agreement on 4th November 2016, Ciné-ONU was proud to partner with the government of Flanders and bring this compelling film to environmental advocates and Ciné-ONU fans.

The projection of Samuel in the Clouds was followed by a discussion and Q & A with the film’s director Pieter Van Eecke, Environmental advisor to the Cabinet of Liesbeth Homans and Vice-President of the government of Flanders, Victor Dries, UNEP Europe representative, Thierry Lucas and moderated by Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, Cristina Gallach. 


Thierry Lucas from UNEP Brussels began the evening’s discussion stating, “For Samuel and many other people, the future is changing.”

The prevailing message of the night surrounded global refusal to face climate change with Victor Dries calling on all actors in society, “We need to change our everyday behavior. Global interaction is very important, especially in regards to knowledge sharing. We must act locally and share globally.”

Thierry Lucas emphasized the link between climate change and conflict, stating, “From 2006 to 2010 there were consecutive droughts in Syria as a consequence of global warming, which had an impact on arable land and forced 1.5 million farmers to move to already crowded cities, increasing social unrest and instability in the region.”

He continued, “The past will never come back and the future will be totally different. But there is hope with the Paris Agreement.” He added, “Tackling climate change at a global level can work by giving incentives, and putting enough resources into renewable energy.” 


Cristina Gallach concluded the discussion stating that it is thanks to the mobilisation of civil society that the Paris Agreement was implemented and that although we are at the beginning of a long road, this is a positive moment in history.

Please click here to view our handout from the evening, and for more photos from the night, please follow this link.