Silent Snow. The Invisible Poisoning of the World

from Multimedia Library Collection:
Environmental Film Profiles (videos)

Knudsen-Ostermann, Pipaluk, and Jan Van den Berg. Silent Snow. The Invisible Poisoning of the World. Utrecht: drs FILM, 2011. 35 mm, 71 min.

The white Arctic plains are an eminent example of nature’s untouched beauty: an endless nothing in which only few know how to survive. But a silent assassin is destroying the Inuit community in Greenland. Chemical residues from all over the world accumulate here invisibly, poisoning both humans and animals. By ocean currents and attached to snow, pesticides like DDT are carried northbound into Inuit land, causing illness and premature death. In Silent Snow, a group of experienced Inuit starts out on a dangerous dog-sledge expedition through their barren land. But while global warming and disappearing icebergs are problems they can perceive directly, the pollution of their land remains a hard to imagine threat. Interwoven with the polar expedition, Silent Snow follows a young Greenlandic woman (Pipaluk Knudsen-Ostermann) on her journey around the world to find the local causes of the contamination that is quietly poisoning her people. Her journey takes her to three different continents, where she is confronted with conflicting interests when it comes to short-term gains and healthy solutions for agriculture, industries and health care. (Source: Official Film Website)

© 2011 drs FILM. Trailer used with permission.

This film is available at the Rachel Carson Center Library (RCC, 4th floor, Leopoldstrasse 11a, 80802 Munich) for on-site viewing only. For more information, please contact

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Further readings: 
  • Bjerregaard, et al. "Population Surveys in Greenland 1993–2009: Temporal Trend of PCBs and Pesticides in the General Inuit Population by Age and Urbanisation." Science of The Total Environment 454–455 (2013): 283–88.
  • Cone, Marla. Silent Snow: The Slow Poisoning of the Arctic. New York City: Grove Press, 2006.
  • Kallenborn, Roland. Long-range Transport of Man-made Contamination into the Arctic and Antarctica. Heidelberg: Springer, 2016.