As both time & tide are threatening to swallow the island nation of Tuvalu whole, a group of expatriates, now living in New Zealand, return to their home in the South Pacific, perhaps to see it one last time before it is completely engulfed by the rising sea level or even spookier – impending western culture. The rising sea level comes thanks to global warming, a threat that has been present for years and continues to grow stronger ever day, but the intrusion of western culture on this simple land? A lot of that began with a simple .TV.
In 2000, Tuvalu leased out their .TV internet extension to a western company called Dot TV for $50 million. This money then provided the means for new roads to be paved, which made way for more vehicles, which made way for more western goods to be shipped in and sold amongst the natives who at one time lived a free-for-all existence where their food and other needs were gathered directly from the island and shared amongst one another. These old fashioned ways were rapidly changing, elevating this process is the younger Tuvaluan generation who have a strong taste for western life and are pushing to bring as much of it as possible to their island home.
We witness these changes in climate and culture through the eyes of the expatriates as they silently stand by and, with a great sadness, watch the world they once knew wash away. Running at the perfect length of one hour, “Time & Tide” doesn’t overstay its welcome, nor does it feel rushed as it presents us this tragic, yet peaceful and gorgeously shot, film that never jumps up on the soapbox to violently jam a message down our throats. Instead, the filmmakers let the message speak for itself and it’s in the quiet concern of the Tuvaluan people. You should really see this film!