- Hide menu

Ash

Last April the earth opened up at Eyjafjallajokull glacier in Southern Iceland. The volcano spewed 70 tons of ash into the air per second grounding flights all over Europe. Meanwhile, farmers living under the volcano were fighting for their livestock and livelihood. The film Ash, follows three families living at different sites under the volcano for one year to see what effect the ash has on their lives. The damage to their farms was different, for some farmers they are recovering well, while others are still struggling.



 Keli and Anna are sheep farmers. The sheep were closed in when the ash cloud hit; they lost a lot of lambs and their herd didn’t gain as much weight as usual . They lost a third of their income this year. But Keli says that the eruption may have saved his life. After working for 20 hours a day for almost a week his body shut down. When he was brought to the hospital he had a brain scan and the doctors found an aneurysm on his brain; this has since been removed and Keli has recovered well.

Siggi and Poula were hit really hard when the flood came, 70% of their land was under water. The ash cloud was blown over their farm twice during the eruption. Poula used to live on the Westmann Islands and was there during the volcanic eruption of 1973, covering a large area of the town with Magma. Poula has never really recovered from this eruption, even though she was only 6 years old at the time.

Olafur and Gudny; Olafur had a nervous breakdown when his brother was lost in the ash during the eruption. Now Olafur is working on a short film about his farm which has been in his family for 100 years, he will be showing the film to tourists who visit his farm which has become famous because of a picture he took of it during the eruption. He is an organic barley and dairy farmer and is using his profit from tourism and to buy a milking robot for his cowshed. He is also growing rapeseed to make bio-fuel so that his farm will eventually be self-sustainable. Although things were looking pretty bleak at the time of the eruption he, with ingenuity and stubbornness, is turning the whole devastating situation to his advantage.