As the Tide Comes In

Juan Palacios, Denmark, 2024

88 min.DK/Documentary

The 27 residents on the tiny Danish Wadden Sea island of Mandø, are used to severe weather and flooding. Climate change has only made things worse and now it poses a serious existential threat to the eight-square-kilometer island. However, its last farmer, Gregers, whose family has lived there for eight generations, hasn’t given up in the face of the impending catastrophe. He refuses to build a life elsewhere and instead hopes to find a wife to manage the farm with him.

As a storm is slowly approaching, Gregers and his faithful dog inspect the obsolete dikes that protect his beloved island. In the meantime, Mie blows out the candles of her 100th-year birthday cake, Ellen and Ingeborg complain about the moon disease they suffer from, birdwatcher Niels laments about the rare birds that don’t come to the island anymore, and tourist guide Preben tells stories about past deadly floods to summer visitors. Despite the new threats from the rising sea, today’s current generation holds on steadfastly to their little part of the world.

The portrait of this microcosm is accompanied by masterfully crafted shots of the distinctive landscape, shifting skies, and seas that change with the wind. In a sense, the grim fate of these islanders, presented in drily humorous situations, will affect us all.
Basic information Credits
Original title Før stormen
Danish title Før stormen
Keywords Mandø, Everyday life, Island communities, Farming, Dikes, Climate changes, Birds, Storm surge, 2020-2030
Director Juan Palacios
Co-director Sofie Husum Johannesen
Screenplay Juan Palacios
Producer Kasper Lykke Schultz, Andreas Dalsgaard
Director of Photography Juan Palacios
Editor Nicolas Nørgaard Staffolani
Sound Peter Albrechtsen
Composer Morten Svenstrup
Production country Denmark
Domestic distribution CPH:DOX
Danish theatrical release 22.02.2024
Danish rating Allowed for all
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Production company Elk Film
With support from New Danish Screen, TV2 Danmark, Realdania
Domestic distribution CPH:DOX


Direction Juan Palacios
Co-director Sofie Husum Johannesen
Assistant director Louis Jongsma


Screenplay Juan Palacios
Idea Andreas Dalsgaard
Script development Juan Palacios
Script development Sofie Husum Johannesen
Script development Kasper Lykke Schultz
Script development Andreas Dalsgaard


Producer Kasper Lykke Schultz
Line producer Sofie Husum Johannesen
Creative producer Andreas Dalsgaard
Executive producer Andreas Dalsgaard
Producer's assistant Bryn Thomas
Post Producer Sofie Husum Johannesen
Post Producer Kasper Lykke Schultz
Technical supervisor Jakob Evers
Producer Andreas Dalsgaard


Cinematographer Juan Palacios
Cinematographer: Additional shoot Maggie Olkuska
Drone operator Louis Jongsma


Still photographer Nikolaj Møller


Editor Nicolas Nørgaard Staffolani
Assistant editor Bryn Thomas
Assistant editor Julieta Balasch


Composer Morten Svenstrup


Sound designer Peter Albrechtsen
Sound effect editor Mikkel Nielsen
Foley artist Rune van Deurs
Additional sound David Barber
Foley mixer Marit Kamsvåg
Foley mixer Richard Sveen
Dialogue editor Javier Quesada
Re-recording mixer Peter Albrechtsen
Re-recording mixer Lars Halvorsen

Visual effects

VFX Martin Schmidt
VFX Maria Klarlund
VFX Juan Palacios
Colorist Anders V. Christensen

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