A couple of weeks ago we were contacted by the Canary Tourist Board about a documentary they had made named “La sonrisa del sol” (or the English title “The smile of the sun”). The documentary is a beautifully made, twenty four minute long film which tells the story of what happens when a group of people from one of the most inhospitable environments in the world (the extreme cold of Greenland – a place permanently overcast climate of ice) visited the Canary Islands, the Spanish owned archipelago which enjoys one of the best climates in the world.
It follows tells the history of eleven Greenlandic Inuit (aged between one and 64 years) belonging to the group of Ammassalimmiut, who visited the Canary Isles last May in the frame of an anthropological project. The aim was to observe and to record the reactions and emotions of the group as they explored all the balmy delights of their new temporary home, Gran Canaria. The camera followed as they discovered unexpected situations for the first time in their lives, like feeling the sand of the beach, bathing in the sea and even touching a tree – simple pleasures which most of us have accepted as normalities in our lives.
We watched the documentary ourselves and it definitely managed to hold our interest throughout the twenty four minutes. Perfectly paced and very easy on the eye, it has an almost an ethereal quality and the short film is brought to life with endearing and very likeable characters.
The Canary Islands, which are located off the coast of Africa enjoy a privileged climate, with hot summers and very soft winters. It’s also blessed with a seemingly eternal spring of sunny days, blue skies and stable temperatures, without big fluctuations throughout the year. So it’s the perfect backdrop to showcase the surprisingly touching moments of the group’s extraordinary journey, like our personal favourite, the time when the group swam in the sea for the very first time. An enjoyable activity which we all take for granted, to the community members of Greenland, a swim in the sea would most definitely kill you.
In another lovely scene, one of female members of the group had discovered a new found fondness another pastime completely novel to her – shopping! Here’s video if you want to watch the interesting and heart warming documentary for yourself….