Parismina, a small village in Costa Rica between the Reventazón River and the Caribbean Sea, is only accessible by boat or plane. Three species of turtle – leatherback, hawksbill and green – lay their eggs on the beach there. Marine turtle populations are in decline worldwide and Parismina doesn’t buck the trend. In 2001 a group of teenagers, alarmed by the rise in poaching, joined forces with the coast guard to patrol the beach and went on to found the Asociación Salvemos las Tortugas de Parismina, a non-profit conservation project.
In 1942 Alfred Hitchcock recruited the author of Our Town, Thornton Wilder, to write the screenplay for Shadow of a Doubt, an innocence-versus-evil thriller set in an ‘idyllic American town’. After considering various candidates, Hitchcock and Wilder selected Santa Rosa, a picturesque agricultural community of 13,000 people, 55 miles north of San Francisco in Sonoma County. The following year, Santa Rosa was introduced to millions of filmgoers in a series of establishing shots that began with aerial views of its pretty countryside and ‘all-American’ downtown. Wartime restrictions had precluded set-building and the exterior locations were all real, but it was difficult to believe that sunny Santa Rosa hadn’t been confected by Norman Rockwell on a Hollywood back lot. Seventy-five years later, we contemplate another aerial view, this time of Santa Rosa’s Coffey Park neighbourhood. The scene, a thousand homes incinerated to their foundations, resembles the apocalypse Kim Jong-un keeps promising to bring to America.