“It is far and away the most extraordinary place I’ve ever been to on this planet”: Alastair Evans on A Crack in the Mountain
A Crack in the Mountain from Alastair Evans captures the wonder of the little-known Vietnamese cave Hang Sơn Đoòng, and the arduous battle to protect it. Extraordinary footage reveals an underground kingdom, while exclusive interviews with visitors, explorers and activists expose the threat to the preservation of this site’s special ecosystem as a result of commercial development, particularly plans for a cable car, which would transform it into a tourist destination.
The Upcoming spoke with filmmaker Alastair Evans about the challenge of capturing the cave’s majesty with natural lighting, highlighting the crucial role of cinema in transporting audiences to such mesmerising locations. He also described how the documentary becomes a discourse on the tension between economic growth and sustainable development, and reflected on the impact the cave’s discovery had on the local community, the potential threat of a proposed cable car and the film’s strategic approach to interviews in a country where activism can be risky. He emphasised the nuance of the debate around economic development and environmental preservation, insisting on the importance of including diverse voices in the narrative. Ultimately, the documentary serves as a call to Western audiences for more sustainable tourism and hopes for a future where nature’s wonders, like Hang Sơn Đoòng, can coexist with economic progress.
A Crack in the Mountain is released in select cinemas on 26th May 2023. Read our review here.
Watch the trailer for A Crack in the Mountain here: