Activisit -Chariciture of Greta Thunberg
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Sunday Movie Review – I am Greta – #Documentary – #ClimateChange

Welcome to my Sunday Movie Review, where I share a review for movies I’ve watched that I feel deserve attention.

HBO special- I am Greta – the journey to becoming Greta Thunberg, documented. I watched this documentary two weeks ago when I came across it as I searched my saved lists of docs to watch. I’m pretty sure I don’t have to elaborate on who Greta Thunberg is – the teenager from Sweden who has Asperger’s and created a global movement for climate change. This doc is the story of how Greta’s movement gained world attention, from its inception to the global stage her protests grew into.

 

My 5 Star Review:

The documentary begins with 15 year old Greta’s concern with the state of the planet and climate change, and nobody seemed to care.

One lone girl, Greta, sits on the pavement in front of parliament on a Friday afternoon in Sweden with a protest sign, handing out papers she’s written about the danger in the world of climate change globally. Greta has Asperger’s and explains how she has no friends, often doesn’t like to speak, and her best supporter is her father, who tells us Greta has a photogenic memory and that Greta began pulling out plugs and turning off lights at a young age to conserve energy.

Greta begins gaining national attention when her Friday protests grew bigger as her movement eventually reached global attention. She’s eventually invited to speak at the UN. As her cause and popularity get noticed around the globe, the Friday ‘no school’ climate protests catch on around the world where thousands of kids join the fight.

“I don’t care about being popular, I care about climate justice and the living planet,” Greta laments. “It will be over soon and nobody will recognize me,” Greta says after a big televised conference. But nobody did forget Greta. The press began to follow her closely. Greta gained worldwide attention and supporters who said they cannot let her do the fight on her own, as she raises awareness everywhere she travels, thousands of teens join the fight globally. The official hashtag for Greta’s mission becomes #FridaysfortheFuture. This girl’s dedication, despite the flack and obstacles she encountered, is and was relentless. I cried my eyes out on so many levels as I took in the magnitude of her plight.

Greta stands true to her beliefs. As her mission is to cut emissions and pollutions – Greta’s movement was expanding globally and she had to begin making appearances to support her movement and embolden her supporters. But Greta would not fly in airplanes, it went against everything she fights for, but she takes the long road and becomes a globetrotter to show up for the cause and protests, as her father staunchly supports her and accompanies her on her missions taking long train journeys throughout Europe. President Macron invites her to Paris, in a televised conversation, he shares the importance of rich countries needing to help lead the way to climate change. Macron: “How do you manage school doing this?”  Greta tells Macron she’s a nerd who makes up for missed school at home.

As Greta gets invited to more European climate change summits where her fight grows in recognition, she begins to question why she is getting so popular, “I honestly don’t understand why I get invited, so they can be spotlighted to look like they care as if they’re doing something. They’re doing nothing.”

Greta is challenged with her Asperger’s and her struggle for wanting to be left alone and her need to spread the message. Preferring to be alone, Greta must conquer her struggle while rallying up a charge and taking up those invitations requesting her presence. Her frustration often requires alone time. “Everyone promises to do things better, but they never do. Pretending feels kind of fake. What matters is emissions must be reduced and has to start now.”

Greta visits the Pope who encourages her to keep up the fight as thousands gathered outside the Vatican shouting Greta’s name, chanting for ‘Greta to save the planet.’ But of course, with glory also comes the bad press and negativity from some of the more ‘authoritarian-type’ world leaders who don’t seem to be interested in saving the planet. Putin thinks it’s a bogus cause, Trump makes fun of her, Balsenaro cuts her up, and her own government says she’s just a kid, in fact, most world leaders interviewed and asked about her, feel the same way – except Macron.

Then come the death threats as social media starts picking on her. But Greta said she didn’t care. “Humanity sees nature as this giant bag of candy, that we can just take what we want. But one day nature will strike back, I don’t know exactly how but there are heatwaves and floods and fires.”

She’s invited to the EU parliament to speak among hundreds of diplomats and gives a well researched speech on the devastation of climate change, through tears she shoots her words and finally gets a standing ovation. Greta is asked, “Why did you cry during your speech?”

Greta: “Animals and people are dying.”

“Why do some think of you as a radical baby who can’t really do anything,” one politician asked her.

“Sometimes I feel like the microphone isn’t on. Is it on? Because I’m begining to wonder. You lied to us and gave us false hope. Nobody is talking about it, nothing has changed. We children are doing this because we want our hopes and dreams back.”

Greta gets invited to speak in the USA at the UN climate summit in New York. “Since I don’t fly because of the enormous climate impact on aviation, it’s going to be a challenge.” It took two weeks for Greta and her dad to sail to America.

“I don’t want to be a person who says one thing and does something else. I don’t want to fly across the world because it’s easier that way,” Greta says as as she and her dad prepare the journey across the Atlantic from Plymouth, England. Droves of people wish them well as they sail off on rough waters in a sailboat. Greta encounters both seasickness and homesickness on the trek. “I don’t want to have to do all this. It’s too much for me, around the clock. I know that it’s important and what’s at stake. But it’s such a responsibility. I should be back in school, not the other side of the ocean.” Greta writes and dictates during the journey, questioning herself if her cause has taken her too far out of her comfort zone, in awe that her meager beginnings of being a solitaire young girl who began her lone protest sitting in front of her parliament building with a sign, one Friday afternoon.

The sails are up as Greta and her dad reach New York harbor. The crowds of people awaiting her were magnificent in size and chant. Greta shouts to the people, “We are dependent on each other to survive. If you see a threat it’s your responsibility to sound the alarm. I feel like this is my responsibility in a way.”

Greta goes to the 2019 climate summit in New York where world leaders congregrate. Her speech begins, “My name is Greta Thunberg, and I want you to panic. The world is waking up and change is coming whether you like it or not.” The speech ends with, “If you deal with problems in time instead of waiting, your problems won’t get as big because if you do that, you come out on the other side and there it’s better.”

Greta planted the seeds of hope and still runs her protests every Friday since 2018. Since that time, over 200 activists have been murdered for fighting for clean air. In 2019, more than seven million people joined Greta’s protest. Despite Greta’s efforts, the world is still not on track yet to meet the requirements for the Paris Climate Accord.

 

“We will not stop until we’re done” ~ Greta Thunberg

 

Below is the powerful trailer for ‘I am Greta’

 

 

If you’d like to visit Greta’s website for Climate Change Europe: https://climateemergencyeu.org/

 

©DGKaye2020

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D.G. Kaye is a nonfiction/memoir writer, who writes from her own life experiences and self-medicates with a daily dose of humor.

36 Comments

  • Pete Springer

    I didn’t know about this documentary, but I’m going to watch this soon. It is a testament to the power that one committed person can have in the world despite facing all kinds of backlash.

    One of the things that offended me the most about President Trump (too many to list here) is when he made fun of Greta. Picking on a child, particularly one with a disability, was despicable—right up there with mocking a disabled reporter.

    • dgkaye

      You’ve got that right Pete. That should have put an end to him, way back then when he mocked the disabled reporter. People have shown their colors. And yes, it only takes one person to begin making a difference. This brave child took it on because of her compassion for all things living and has planted the awareness seeds. It takes only one voice, but a village to carry out. 🙂

  • Toni Pike

    An incredible and heartfelt review, Debby, and it sounds like an amazing documentary. I’m afraid Covid has put Climate Change on the backburner somewhat, but I think things will change in 2021. Toni x

  • Stevie Turner

    Greta is right. World leaders affirm that yes indeed, something must be done, but nothing does get done. There’s a simple reason for this – money. It will impact on people’s livelihoods and no leader wants to be unpopular.

    • dgkaye

      It’s all so bloody wrong! All our faith in the future of climate change now lies on the backs of the younger generation. Greta has clear vision 🙁 x

  • Hilary Melton-Butcher

    Hi Debby – I was due to see this film at our art gallery cinema this week – but closed off now … such is life, at least we’re safe. She’s set standards for herself … and is opening the world’s eyes to the way nature is changing today. It’ll be interesting to see how the leaders cope with the ideals – our climate has always changed … nature is nature. We are short-sighted creatures … we need long term sensible vision. Thanks for the review and for the clip/trailer … we certainly all need to do something to improve the world’s life. Stay safe – Hilary

    • dgkaye

      My pleasure to feature Greta here today, Hilary. It is truly the younger generation who will do the good things on earth that have been neglected by prior generations. Hugs <3

  • Annika Perry

    Debby, a wonderful review that pulled me straight in and has me wanting to see the documentary asap. Greta is an incredible young lady, and speaks with such clarity and conviction it puts most politicians to shame! As you can tell, she is my heroine and I can’t wait to see where she goes as an adult. I saw the interview with her in her flat and what a moment when she met Malala! Two amazing women who probably have no idea of the aura of both humility and power which they project. Now off to see if this documentary is available outside HBO.

    • dgkaye

      Hi Annika! So glad to learn you’re a huge Greta fan like me. You said it right, Greta and Malala are two empowering forces to be reckoned with. I hope you get a chance to see the documentary. I was glued. <3

  • sally cronin

    A young woman with conviction and the ability to look passed her own challenges to undertake this mission. My respect for world leaders is not particularly high to begin with but at least Macron listened and championed. The world has seen a short window of time when industry and pollution stopped and the skies and waterways became clearer and nature reclaimed some of the territory we vacated. That is how the planet survives and we have to find a way to meet it halfway.. this young woman has the guts far too many people haven’t and an excellent review of the documentary.. thanks Debby ♥

  • Diana Peach

    That kid is amazing. I just love it when young people stand up and use their voices. They’re so powerful! I can’t wait to see this documentary. Thanks for sharing your review, Debby. <3

    • dgkaye

      Thanks Diana. Yes, if a girl like Greta, hampered by a condition that makes it difficult for her assimilate socially can start this huge movement by herself, anything is possible! I hope you get to watch it. <3

  • Lisa Thomson

    Great review Deb! I saw this the other night, but happened upon it already half way through. I will make a point of watching it from the beginning. Just thinking the name Greta also spells Great 😀

    • dgkaye

      So great you found it Lis. Yes, if you get the chance watch from the beginning how Greta began a movement by herself. And yes, Greta is great! <3

  • Olga Nunez Miret

    Thanks for the recommendation, Debby. What a huge effort for her and her family and what an achievement. At a practical level, it must be very difficult to try to combine anything resembling a normal life with all her raising awareness activities as well. When people (read authorities, governments) don’t want to listen to a clear message they attack the person who delivers it, and the opposite is true as well. Sometimes they shower accolades on the person but don’t implement any changes or do anything to bring their vision forward, as a way of distracting the press and the public.
    We must not forget we are all part of this, and the governments do not exist as separate from the people (at least in a lot of the world). If our governments don’t represent our views on something as important as this, perhaps we need to rethink who rules our countries. And at a personal level, we all need to think of what we do to support the environment. Greta is a great example.

    • dgkaye

      Kudos to everything you said Olga. Yes, for most of the free world, we get to vote in our officials. The sad thing is ‘the masses’ are swayed by heresay and propaganda, instead of doing their homework about candidates. Hopefully, many more eyes are being opened these days. Hugs <3

  • Marian Beaman

    Greta is a phenomenon. When she first burst onto the scene, I was amazed at her courage and insight. Who says one can’t change the world, even with the challenge of Asberger’s. Thank you, Debby, for the review highlighting this documentary which I knew nothing about – until now!

    I think Greta’s mantra ““We will not stop until we’re done” is a great admonition for all who seek change, including writers. Great post – thank you!

  • Robbie Cheadle

    Hi Debby, you certainly do find some very interesting stories to share. I remember reading about this girl and her fight against climate change. I have been wondering whether climate change isn’t what all these lockdowns are about. They have certainly don’t a good job of stopping people travelling about.

    • dgkaye

      I agree with you Robbie. And as far as interesting goes, I don’t want a ton of movies but when I do, I prefer nonfiction and obssessed with character study. 🙂 x

  • Deborah Jay

    Greta is truly a phenomenon. Weird how sometimes someone or something takes off, like her protest, with no reason why, but I’m very glad in her case that it did. I’m sick of hearing all the politicians paying lipservice to the need for change and doing nothing practical, because they only care about what happens during their term of office, and not beyond. I also hope that the changes seen during lockdown will have a lasting legacy; I’m keeping all my fingers crossed.

    • dgkaye

      Deb, I’m with you on all you said. So much of the world has gone to greed. And the politicians, huh! Don’t get me started. You hit the nail on the head. For them it’s all about serving the lobbyists and receiving their kickbacks. Time for the greedy to open their eyes and start giving a shit about more than themselves. <3

  • Vashti Q

    Hi, Debby! Greta is so right to worry about the environment. Something needs to be done or it’s her generation and the one after that will suffer. I saw her speak on the TV and I was very impressed by her. It’s frustrating how many people ignore the obvious climate changes simply because it’s not affecting them right now. Thanks for this review! <3 xo

  • Carol Balawyder

    Fantastic review, Debby. Sounds like a great documentary and one that hopefully will get heard around the planet. Greta puts her heart and soul into this cause and it’s so unfortunate that leaders are not acting. What a brave girl she is.

  • John Maberry

    How did I miss commenting on this? Well, have been busy or under the weather (no, not out in the rain without an umbrella, just stuff happening) so caught this in my mailbox. Anyway, seems like a good thing to watch, even if it is a “preaching to the choir” about the climate crisis but this is, I am sure, as much or more about Greta and how she makes a difference at a young age.

    • dgkaye

      Absolutely John, it’s about Greta’s journey into protest and how far she took it – still growing. I hope preaching to the choir is past sell date already. It’s a fact something must be done and can no longer be swept under the rug. 🙂

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