Decades of unchecked mass tourism has left Indonesia’s resort of island of Bali – known as the Island of the Gods – with a host of problems including over-development, mountains of trash and pollution. The film follows Balinese youths as they fight to save their unique tropical idyll of ancient temples, terraced rice paddy fields and spectacular surfing beaches before it’s too late.
Over the last 40 years Bali has gone from being a spiritual, low-key holiday destination to an international tourist hot spot. Now it’s stretched to breaking point, with a waste problem that’s out of control.
Since the late 1970’s the number of tourists visiting Bali each year has exploded to well over two and a half million. Combined with the local population, Bali generates thousands of tons of rubbish each day that floats down the rivers and out to the sea, piling up on the world famous Kuta Beach. There’s a growing resistance – particularly among young Bali locals – to this rampant development on the island and tourism at any cost. Yet farmers are still selling their land to developers, fuelling a real estate boom that’s driving prices through the roof. “Tourists are not destroying Bali, the greedy investors are destroying Bali”, says Bali’s governor, Made Pastika. For locals, like surf legend Mega, Bali stands to lose more that just its beautiful natural environment. “If every place is like Kuta with high-rise buildings everywhere then Bali is not like Bali anymore. If that happens it’s like our souls are lost.”