best viewed on large screen and with proper audio device or headphones


The experimental short film THE SEAS ARE RISING is an artistic reflection on being engaged with the world. Combining fiction and documentary, music and text, this hybrid film calls for a collective and activist approach to the climate crisis.

Two characters walk through the mud, away from the viewer, into an open yet unknown future. Climate destruction becomes ghastly visible: huge machines in a brown coal mine eat up the soil, searching for energy and profit. Policemen and women enable sawers to cut down the neighbouring forest for the expansion of the mine. Young activists occupy the trees, trying to stop the destruction of this primeval forest.

An experimental musical score strengthens the joyful militancy of the activists and leads the narrative of the film to a third location: an old barn. Here, surrounded by animals and farm life, three musicians play music; their tunes travel to the many corners of the farm. With subverting fragments of text mixed through the music, they call for more radical action and hint at overthrowing the economic elite.

A short, but poignant sci-fi excursion ends THE SEAS ARE RISING, shedding dystopic light on our shared future, while a megaphone choir suggests a collective uprising: “The seas are rising and so are we!”

A film by Sjoerd Leijten and Stijn Verhoeff

DCP, 12 minutes, 2019
German and English
with English subtitles

Cinematography - Casper Brink
Edit - Jasper de Bruin and Stijn Verhoeff
Sound - Sjoerd Leijten and Malu Peeters
Music - Verena Barie, Gerri Jäger, Sjoerd Leijten
Editing, mixing and mastering - Sjoerd Leijten and Malu Peeters
Titles - Karoline Swiezynski
Production - Gneisspecker

Men walking - Daan Alkemade and Dries Alkemade

Voice - Sandra Schultz (Deutschlandfunk)
Translation subtitles - Karoline Swiezynskii
Police - Nordrhein-Westfalen Polizei
Tree squatters - Hambacher Forst ‘Hambi’ activists

Farm owner - Gjalt Tjeerdsma
Flutes - Verena Barie
Drums - Gerri Jäger
Electronics - Sjoerd Leijten
Voice - Andreas Malm (from the lecture Learning to Fight in a Warming World)
Catering - Kristina Benjocki
Animals - the unheard witnesses

megaphone choir – Jo Caimo
megaphone choir – Inne Eysermans
megaphone choir – Vesna Faassen
megaphone choir – Sjoerd Leijten

Supported by Mondriaan Fonds, AFK
and Kunsthuis SYB