The Weather War
2012

The Weather War is a documentary/art film about man’s attempts to control the weather and harness it for his own purposes. In a blend of land art performance and road movie, artist duo Bigert & Bergström travel to the US tornado belt with their special machine-sculpture, the Tornado Diverter. The goal is to stop a tornado.
The film also presents historical examples of how the science of meteorology developed in symbiosis with military goals, and how these visions evolved into modern ideas of geo-engineering—controversial ideas with sociopolitical consequences that spotlight the big question of who is really entitled to modified weather.

From a larger perspective, the film features the problems faced worldwide due to global climate change. How do we meet those challenges? Do we adapt? Or do we wage war against increasingly aggressive weather? Bangladesh is building protective walls against coming floods; China shoots rockets into threatening clouds; and in Italy, antihail cannons are fired to protect the year’s wine harvest.

This is the final film of the trilogy, which Bigert & Bergström have been working with since 2002, dealing with the human obsession with control. The subject of first film, The Last Supper (2005), is the last meal offered to the death row inmates prior their execution. The Life Extended, the second film from 2009, focuses on the contemporary dream of a longer, or even of an eternal life.

Illustration by Johan Mets

STILLS FROM THE FILM

Photos: Lars Siltberg
Destruction after a FE-5 tornado hit Joplin, Missouri , 22 May 2011
After tornado, Joplin, Missouri , 22 May 2011
After tornado, Joplin, Missouri , 22 May 2011
Bigert & Bergström in front of the Tornado Diverter. Kansas, 1 June 2011
The Problem
Molybdomancy

PROCESS PHOTOS 

SCREENINGS / EXHIBITIONS

Moderna Museet, Stockholm, 2012
CPH:DOX, Copenhagen, 2012
Gothenburg International Film Festival, 2013
Planete Doc, Warsaw, 2013
CinemAmbiente, Turin, 2013
Docville International Film Festival, Leuven, 2013
Swedish Institute, Paris, 2013
Doclounge, Malmö, 2013
Barcelona International Environmental Film Festival, 2013
Hirschorn Museum, Washington, 2014
Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin, 2014
Summerhall, Edinburgh, 2014
21C Museum, Louisville, 2014
“Slow Future,” CCA, Warsaw, 2014
“Strange Weather,” Science Gallery, Dublin, 2014
Environmental Film Festival Melbourne, 2014
Documentary Film and Video Festival, Kassel, 2014
Växjö Konsthall, 2015
STUK, Leuven, 2016
Doc en Mai, Bordeaux, 2016
Power Station of Art, Shanghai, 2016

Excerpts from the film
CREDITS

"The Weather War," 2012
58 min. HD

Written and directed by 
Bigert & Bergström

Produced by 
Antonio Russo Merenda

Cinematography
Lars Siltberg

Editing
Kristofer Nordin

Original music
OCSID
Carl Michael von Hausswolff
Jean-Louis Huhta
Edvard Graham Lewis

Graphic design
Björn Kusoffksy
Stockholm Design Lab

Costumes
B&B
Nina Sandström

Digital effects, 3D
On-Line Alphaville

Additional cinematography
Charlie Drevstam
Sofia Olsson Studio



Technical manager 
Jens Lind

Grading 
Jonas Jangvald 
The Chimney Pot

Sound design and mix 
Thomas Huhn 
Ljudligan

Research 
Malin Nordström

Runner Bangladesh - Adnan Wahid 
Runner Italy - Alberto Berardo 
Runner Mid-West USA - Chelsea Turner    
                                                  
Translations 
Åsa Sandzén 
Jordan Newhouse (subtitels) 
Jennifer Evans

Special thanks 
Henric Larsson, The Chimney Pot, David Wilson & Paul Sturz, 
Nathaniel Taylor, KTH Edoardo Fracchia, Stefilm, 
Municipality of Barbaresco, Tove Torbiörnsson, Vera Bonnier

The Weather War is produced by Ginestra Film, Antonio Russo 
Merenda in co-production with SVT/ Arts & Culture, Emelie Persson 
with the support of Swedish Film Institute, Cecilia Lidin, 
Nordisk Film & TV Fond, Karolina Lidin, Nordvision in association 
with DR, Mette Heiberg YLE, Mary Gestrin. 
Developed with the support of: The MEDIA Programme of the European Community.