I Am Greta had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, and will next screen at the Toronto International Film Festival before worldwide release on October 16th. The film is directed by Nathan Grossman and traces Greta Thunberg's journey from shy kid in Sweden to global icon for climate action. Grossman first met Thunberg when she was 15 years old, in 2018 on the very first day of her schools' strike, sitting alone outside parliament in Stockholm with her homemade placard, and technically became her first follower. Grossman says:
“THE FILM HIGHLIGHTS THE GROWING GAP BETWEEN WORSENING CLIMATE IMPACTS AND WARNINGS FROM SCIENTISTS ON THE ONE HAND, AND THE WORDS AND ACTIONS OF WORLD LEADERS ON THE OTHER.
GRETA AND OTHER YOUNG PEOPLE DEMAND A SAFE FUTURE AND THAT LEADERS LISTEN TO THE SCIENCE — INSTEAD THEY ARE MET WITH EMPTY WORDS FROM POLITICIANS, AND RIDICULE OR EVEN DEATH THREATS FROM INDIVIDUALS. THIS IS THE SOURCE OF SO MUCH OF HER FRUSTRATION AND I HOPE VIEWERS WILL LEAVE WITH A LOT OF THAT FRUSTRATION AS WELL.”
I Am Greta works through Thunberg’s ascent to the public sphere, starting with her one-person school strike for climate action outside the Swedish Parliament, and Grossman follows Greta, a shy student with Asperger’s, in her rise to prominence, galvanizing global impact as she sparks school strikes around the world. The film culminates with her wind powered voyage across the Atlantic Ocean on Malizia ll to speak at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York City.
Greta Thunberg says she is relieved the documentary does away with the idea that she is an angry naive child who sits in the United Nation General Assembly screaming at world leaders, because that is not the person she is. (Grossman says that the most surprising thing about her is that she is very very funny.) Thunberg also says:
"I HOPE THE FILM WILL PUT AN END TO THE CONSPIRACY THEORIES THAT I DON'T THINK FOR MYSELF AND SOMEONE ELSE WRITES MY SPEECHES. IN THE MOVIE YOU CAN SEE THAT IS NOT ACTUALLY TRUE, THAT I DO DECIDE FOR MYSELF."
Greta Thunburg's Ride to Davos explains a little more about her world view that seems to add a layer of insight to the young women that I think is incredibly revealing:
"... Afterwards I take the metro to Tenleytown and walk the 45 minute stroll to the house we’ve borrowed. The walk stretches through some of the most beautiful neighbourhoods you can possibly imagine. Every house is like a miniature castle straight out of a fairytale. Outside one of the biggest houses there’s a woman standing with her daughter, who is around the age of five. “It’s you!” the mother says when she sees me. “Can I take a picture of you together with my daughter?”
“Of course!” I answer.
When I walk away she turns facing the girl. “Greta is a climate activist, she explains. Maybe you’ll also become an activist when you grow up.”
The mother says it in a way that makes climate activist appear as the most noble, cool thing in the world. Like a mix between a ballerina, a president, and an astronaut."
It explains the adverse reaction from some adults towards Greta - because if a single school girl (with Aspergers to boot) can do so much for humanity it shines an even harsher light on their 'I'm just one person and it's not my responsibility to change' argument. I'm looking forward to seeing this.
Monday, 14 September 2020