In the documentary Desperate Hours, viewers are taken on a harrowing journey that examines the sheer destruction and power of nature. Through a series of stunning visuals and heartbreaking interviews, we bear witness to the devastating effects that volcanoes and earthquakes have had across the globe.
The film showcases the destruction of Montserrat in the Caribbean, caused by a series of volcanic eruptions in 1997. The eruption completely altered the landscape of the island, leaving half its population without homes and livelihoods. We also see first-hand accounts from survivors of other volcanic disasters, including the 1973 eruption on Icelandic island of Heimaey, 2010’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano which disrupted air travel across Europe, Indonesia’s Merapi eruption, Congo’s Mount Nyiragongo and America’s Yellowstone Supervolcano.
Not to be outdone by their fiery counterparts, earthquakes are also explored in depth within Desperate Hours. We learn about the 2015 earthquake that decimated Kathmandu in Nepal and left hundreds dead. Similarly we hear tales from survivors of Sichuan’s 2008 earthquake that trapped an estimated 10,000 children beneath collapsed school buildings in China; Port-au-Prince’s 2010 quake which left over 300,000 homeless; Kashmir’s 2005 earthquake which resulted in at least 30,000 fatalities; and Chile’s 1960 Puerto Mont earthquake which killed an estimated 5,000 people.