How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can't Change
Directed by Josh Fox
When documentarian Josh Fox realizes, after much soul searching, that the answers for how to respond to the degradation of our environment cannot be found in his own back yard, he travels the world to connect with communities that are already facing grave effects of climate change. What he finds is a complicated mix of tragedy and inspiration in the various ways climate change is affecting our value systems. How to Let Go of the World delivers a sobering portrait of the state of climate change, and takes stock of what makes humans survivors, and our societies so creative and resilient.
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★★★★ review by DazedCyborg on Letterboxd
Had me thinking about a loooot. Will probably come back to this.
Edit: I watched this at the opening for the UK green film festival and we had a Q&A with Josh Fox after (on skype). I think what I mostly took away from this film is that it wasn't a 101 basics on environmental activism/issues but more of a narrative following Fox's own activism. I liked the emphasis on the importance of changing things on a socio-political level rather than an individualistic model (which in a lot of times just allows the west in particular to feel good about it's role in destroying the earth without accounting for how neocolonialism/capitalism is the driving forces). I think in a pot of ways this film is a nice concise way for people who don't feel particularly urgent about environmentalism to do so, but if you're already there then it's just a reminder.
★★★★ review by Ken Rudolph on Letterboxd
Filmmaker Josh Fox travels to the ends of the world to prove his climate change warrior bonafides in this informative (if slightly overlong) documentary. He starts out in his native Delaware River homeland decrying the death by beetle of the tree he planted years earlier (beetles that are being implacably driven north by global warming.) From there his filmed travels take him to New York City devastated by Hurricane Sandy, the Amazon, Iceland, Australia, China, and the imperiled Pacific islands to show the effects of global warming, and illustrate how people are attempting to cope around the world. Fox becomes personally involved in the film, both as narrator, witness and participant (along with his banjo and dancing shoes) in the struggle against the environmental damage of under-regulated coal use and fracking. The China segment, where he had to literally hide the damning video disks from the authorities, was particularly effective and scary. The film is skillfully shot and edited. Sure, it's yet another in a long, exhausting series of environmental disaster documentaries. Maybe one day the message will get through...if it actually isn't already hopeless.
★★★½ review by Rob Samuelson on Letterboxd
From bleakness to smidgeons of hope, this one cuts to the human toll of climate change before pivoting to all the ways humans can work their way out of the hole we find ourselves in. Plus it's filled with lots of natural beauty you might not expect from a documentary shot with mostly handheld cameras.
Full review at Gurulife: www.gurulife.com/posts/hbo-keeps-up-its-climate-awareness-with-how-to-let-go-of-the-world
★★★★½ review by Lincoln on Letterboxd
V powerful, fun, engaging and educational doc. I got to dance with my friends and the director during the end credits and got a rad sticker for my laptop.
SAVE THE PLANET!!
★★★★½ review by Marlena Lerner on Letterboxd
It's easy to dose off in those tough documentaries that make you regret every decision you've ever made in your life and if anything make you tremendously insecure of how ignorant you have been/still are, until the next day when you shove all the important information out of your head so you can stop those uncomfortable thoughts. The unique thing about Fox's documentary is that, literally in the title, it teaches you to both accept that feeling, and what to do after. There wasn't one moment that I found my eyes closing due to an overdose of information. Fox makes this movie so special by taking the audience, almost as his friend, along his journey around the world talking to the lesser heard voices who are crucial in this war combatting climate change. Never would I expect to myself to equally laugh and cry in a film regarding this subject, kudos to Fox for creating something so emotionally wrenching, vulnerable, and engaging. This is a film you can show to someone who questions climate change, or believes it's a "shame."
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