Islands of Faith is a 2018 documentary film directed by Chairun Nissa that talks about climate change through the eyes of faith and religion.
The documentary focuses on seven people, from seven different provinces of Indonesia, who, with the help of faith, does various things for nature, in hopes of tackling climate change.
Islands of Faith is such a calming experience. The visuals, the background music, and the way people from the remotest villages to the urban population try to tackle climate pollution in their own ways. The documentary is a testament to people’s love for nature, how we are one with this Earth, and how even one small contribution or step can be a big deal when it comes to tackling climate change.
It is absolutely mind-blowing to watch people and entire communities come together do something for the environment for the benefit of one and all. It’s an experience that honestly opens your eyes and makes you want to do something for the Earth. Climate change is a very real phenomenon – if not dealt with soon, we probably won’t have anything left to call our own. The statistics are already alarming, so hopefully we can all, as human beings, take small steps for the betterment of our home.
What’s absolutely wonderful to watch is how religion plays a big part in these communities. We always see religion being used to cause harm or used to divide people. But not here. Islands of Faith talks about how religion becomes the basis of people coming together and doing good deeds. It’s through religion that people connect, and use their sacred texts to save nature. It’s a wonderful perspective that I have not come across previously.
“Nyepi saves 30,000 tons of carbons from the atmosphere, reducing the island’s daily emissions by a third.”
The Hindus in Bali undergo several rituals which culminates in Nyepi, the universe’s rest day of the year. During Nyepi, all activities must cease, including the use of electricity. This break proves to be extremely beneficial for the Earth.
Sungai Utik, West Kalimantan
“In the last century, Borneo has lost 50% of their forests to deforestation. Globally, the process contributes 15% of emission that causes climate change.”
The village of the Dayak Iban people is situation within dense forests, which is divided into zones of usage and protection. The people there consider it a duty to protect their forests.
Manggarai, East Nusa Tenggara
“Utilising the natural flow of water to generate power, micro hydro is an emission free energy resource. For 1.6 million households who still lack connection to Indonesia’s power grid, it’s a clearner, greener solution.”
A Catholic priest brings a dramatic change to his village which does not have electricity. He installs a micro-hydro power plant that provides sustainable and clean electricity to the whole village.
“Only around 7% of the Earth’s oceans are protected areas. As sea temperature continues to rise, more and more marine habitats will be threatened by bleaching. Conserving reefs give vital marine life the best chance to survive and replenish.”
Locals here try to protect the natural balance by observing sasi, a period of time during which a part of the sea cannot be used for anything. It restores the delicate balance of the sea and protects marine animals.
“The Sumatran elephant is a key species for keeping the balance of Sumatra’s forest ecosystem. To save Sumatran elephants and halt climate change, more forests must be protected.”
Whenever wild animals enter and destroy the villagers’ crops here, instead of reacting negatively, they hold a prayer and make peace with nature and god.
“The food industry contributes to one-third of the world’s greenhouse emissions. Implementing a local and environmentally-friendly agricultural system leads to less emission.”
A family is committed to eating and making food that comes from good intentions and values.
In Kebun Kumara, a couple have transformed a piece of land formerly used to burn trash into a natural haven. They produce organic vegetables, and use the area as a means of letting people be one with nature.
Summing up: Islands of Faith
Islands of Faith is a beautiful and eye-opening documentary that teaches us how to give back to nature and also gives a lot of hope. It’s calming, reassuring and provides a very positive outlook towards people and communities. It also teaches us to do better to save the Earth.
Islands of Faith is streaming on Netflix.
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