Narstalgia – dir. Robert Chang Lun Chang Chien

Original Film Title: Narstalgia

Directors Name: Robert Chang Lun Chang Chien

Producer: Robert Chang Lun Chang Chien

Country of Origin: United Kingdom

Country of Filming: Greenland, Iceland, Japan, Taiwan, United Kingdom

Language: English

Runtime: 8 minutes 10 seconds

Film Description: 

“Narstalgia” is an experimental short film concerning the phenomena related to the eco-grief happening in the Arctic, including that ‘Greenland has the world’s highest suicide rate’, and ‘Iceland holds funeral for melted glacier due to Climate Change’. The title itself is also a word coined by Director Robert based on his artistic research, which is a combination of ‘Narwhal’ and ‘Solastalgia’, with the name of narwhal having connotation of human death in Old Norse.

‘Solastalgia’ mentioned above is a term coined by an Australian environmental philosopher Glenn Albrecht, to describe the relationship between climate change and mental health of people who live in rapidly changing environments; it also means feeling homesick when you are at home. Since knowing that Iceland holds a funeral for its glacier, Robert went there for a field study in 2019 to film footages and record sounds, plus interview local people and researchers in order to understand how these people feel about the dramatic changes of their home environments.
“I am really afraid that Iceland would not be habitable in the near future.” Says an Icelander that he interviewed in the field study.
Besides, according to the book ’Arctic Dreams’ written by Barry Lopez, the name of Narwhal has the connotation of human death since the old-time; some still call the narwhal “the corpse whale,” and the unfounded belief that it is a cause of human death, or symbol to be associated with human death. Thus, we used narwhal as the metaphor in our project to indicate those significant issues related to solastalgia in the Arctic, using multiple media including 3D animation, visual effects, and the footages and sound we filmed and recorded in Iceland, trying to visualise and audiolise the notion of Narstalgia.