Oscar nominee 'Haulout' shows devastating effects of climate change on walrus population

ByGeorge Pennacchio OTRC logo
Wednesday, March 8, 2023
Oscar nominated documentary shines light on walruses
'These animals are really suffering.' Brother-sister filmmaking team documents how climate change is affecting the walrus population in the Arctic.

HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES -- The documentary "Haulout" follows a marine biologist living in the Siberian Arctic. He's there to chronicle the largest walrus haulout in the world. That's where almost 100,000 walruses seek refuge on shore when there's no sea ice for them in the water.

The brother-sister filmmaking team behind "Haulout" say the walruses are trying to deal with the consequences of climate change.

"The thing that we learn is the problem of climate change is irreversible ... these animals are really suffering from what we do, and I hope that our film will contribute to the storytelling around the vulnerability of natural world in the arctic," said Evgenia Arbugaeva.

"We stayed there for three and a half months, and every month we had different feelings," said Maxim Arbugaev. "And we were very emotional. Evgenia was emotional seeing it, and our goal was put it on a drama in the storytelling."

"We're native to this land, and we grew up in a very small town on the shore of (the) Arctic Ocean on the tundra, so it's really reporting from home for us," said Evgenia.

If you'd like to watch the movie, it's about 25 minutes long, and you'll find it for free at newyorker.com or on The New Yorker's YouTube channel.