(Release Info London schedule; October 18th, 2020)
(Curzon Victoria, 58 Victoria Street, LONDON SW1E 6QW, United Kingdom
(ODEON Covent Garden, 135 Shaftesbury Avenue, LONDON WC2H 8AH, United Kingdom, 14:30●17:30)
(Vue Cinema London - West End (Leicester Square), Leicester Square, 3 Cranbourn Street, LONDON WC2H 7AL, United Kingdom, 15:00)
(Curzon Soho, 99 Shaftesbury Avenue, LONDON W1D 5DY, United Kingdom, 15:00)
(ODEON Luxe Haymarket, 11/18 Panton Street, LONDON SW1Y 4DP, United Kingdom, 15:30)
"I AM Greta"
The story of teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg is told through compelling, never before-seen footage in this documentary following her rise to prominence and her global impact as she sparks school strikes and protests around the world. Starting with her one-person school strike for climate action outside 'The Swedish Parliament', the film follows Greta, a shy student with Asperger’, in her rise to prominence and her galvanizing global impact as she sparks school strikes around the world. The film culminates with her extraordinary wind-powered voyage across 'The Atlantic Ocean' to speak at 'The UN Climate Action Summit' in New York City.
In 2018, 15-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg held a school strike outside her country’s 'Parliament' building in Stockholm. At first she sat alone, handing out information and answering questions from passersby. Slowly, others began to join her, and within months she had sparked a worldwide movement. "I AM Greta" offers a personal and inspiring glimpse inside Greta’s path to becoming an internationally known environmental activist. Shot in the style of cinéma vérité and with support from 'The Thunberg' family, cameras capture Greta’s meetings with government leaders, headline-making public appearances, and global protests. But they also depict Greta’s life outside of the moments visible on news channels worldwide; laughing at home with her family, writing impassioned speeches, and trying to handle the mounting stress of nonstop travel, public scrutiny and becoming the face of the climate change cause. Greta, who has 'Asperger’s Syndrome', impresses everyone from 'UN' delegates, to 'Pope Francis', to 'Hollywood A-listers' with her intricate knowledge of climate issues and unwavering dedication. However, as Greta’s celebrity grows, so does her frustration with politicians who don’t heed her warnings about climate change. As someone who thrives on routines and appreciates solitude, the unpredictable schedule and global visibility takes it's toll. Greta’s father, Svante, travels alongside his daughter and becomes deeply concerned by the hateful words, and even death threats, aimed at her by pundits, politicians and climate-change deniers. The film culminates with Greta’s arduous two-week journey by sailboat to 'The UN Climate Action Summit' in New York City, where she’s greeted by crowds chanting her name. Today, her 'Fridays For Future' movement has organized climate strikes on every continent except 'Antarctica'.
When we first meet Greta, she's plans to do a sit-down strike to protest for the climate because she feels that no one is doing anything. The national election is coming up in Sweden and she wants to show how important this issue is. People start to stop by and ask questions, and she's very articulate. After three weeks, she decides to continue past the election, striking every Friday. Suddenly, the movement is starting to spread to other parts of Sweden. In the beginning, it's so hard to know. Is Greta going to be a lead figure in this movement, or is this film going to be more about the movement? She has this special perspective on the world. She isn't interested in always framing things nicely and being polite. Some moments aren’t easy to watch, like when Greta is having a tough time toward the end of the boat trip or when she’s reading hateful comments made about her on social media. The film captures the fullness of how it feels being Greta and being an activist dealing with this very hard issue. It’s incredible to see Greta evolve from her one-person protests in Sweden into a global icon.
It’s timing, in the sense that the world has waited for someone to express frustration on the topic of climate change for a long time now. Nothing has happened, this panic is rising. And as you see in the film, she has this way to express it that just syncs with where climate change is at the moment. The years of constructive, creative, happy thinking, we’ve those years, and we’ve those figures. Now we’re moving into a period when the situation doesn’t look like that anymore. Anyone who watches the film can understand that young people aren't school striking just for fun. They're protesting because we don't have a choice, but sadly we're still stuck on square one. The changes and the level of awareness needed are nowhere to be seen today. All that we ask for is for our society to treat the climate crisis as a crisis, and give us a safe future. The film shows just how far that's from happening right now. It shows that the urgency of the scientific message isn't getting through. The world is waking up, and change is coming whether you like it or not. It’s a movie which brings you into the eye of the storm.
Of course the movement has been affected by not being able to strike, Greta and her peers are very keen on following the scientific advice and have thus not done physical demonstrations. However we believe that the long term effect of what we now see with the response to 'Covid' is that young people will find that suddenly there's a crisis reaction and billions of euros and dollars available but for years they have been told that the climate crisis is too expensive and hard to deal with. Again the political system shows that it works short term and betrays future generations which can lead to even stronger reactions from activists in the future. Sometimes it’s good to see the world in black and white, because that’s how you can really see what’s uncomfortable. After seeing this movie, people get some extra respect for people that are different and people that have that style of saying what they think and pointing at problems instead of just shoving them under the carpet. We should embrace these people, because we need them to show what’s wrong. Also, 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.