How to Kill a Cloud
World premiere: CPH:DOX 2021 / NORDIC:DOX Award
In 1947, Kurt Vonnegut’s brother had a bright idea. Bernard Vonnegut had been working in the research lab at General Electric where he discovered that you could induce a cloud to start snowing by pouring dry ice onto it from high above. He called the method Seeding and professed, “nature has, at last, permitted to do a little something about the weather”.
Fast-forward 73 years to the UAE and scientists from around the globe have gathered in an attempt to once again influence the skies, although this time with the immeasurably lucrative goal of bringing rainfall to one of the most arid regions on planet earth. Flush with oil, it is also one of the wealthiest yet while the project is coming at enormous cost to the Emiratis, it could ultimately prove far more costly to their surrounding environment, their neighboring nations, and beyond.
Seen through the eyes of Hannele Korhonen, a young, passionate and ambitious Finnish scientist who is drawn into a luxurious (and almost exclusively male) world of professional esteem and 5-star hotels, HOW TO KILL A CLOUD offers a window onto a secretive realm of decadence, slippery morals, and soft power. An exploration to the cutting edge of geoengineering but also an age-old story about the blinkered recklessness of human endeavor and the compromises people are willing to make to see their dreams made reality.
It is a film that ponders the arrogance of science to ask: if nature can be tamed for profit and notoriety, and even weaponised, at what point are we playing god? How far can ethics bend before they are broken irreparably?
HOW TO KILL A CLOUD takes us to an elusive and alluring frontier of scientific experimentation to suggest a tale of hubris that has been around since Greek Mythology.