This Changes Everything
Directed by Avi Lewis
Based on Naomi Klein's book This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, a look at how people in various communities around the world play a role in the ongoing climate change debate and how they're affecting change in trying to prevent the environmental destruction of our planet.
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★★★½ review by Jake Anderson on Letterboxd
Better than expected but still rooted in somewhat basic coverage of the timely issue it centers on, This Changes Everything is most potent when it offers up intricate details of unique personal anecdotes that present viewers with information they haven't already gleaned from public discourse and hashtags. There's an expected degree of fluff; which filmmakers in their right minds would resist A-list testimonials, even if they merely provide cursory rallying-call soundbites? The section honing in on Geena Davis -- her false-start "harbinger of change" feminist filmography and research pertaining to sexism within film and TV for children -- is particularly enlightening, exemplary of how, given the pervasive misogyny within the entertainment industry, the most compelling and necessary assessments of the saddening implications come from layered personal accounts rather than extensive listings of the hopeful progressives who demand change. Unfortunately, the opportunity to thoroughly take Harvey Weinstein to task is glaringly squandered. His recent public and political convictions are glossed over towards the end within a couple minutes; the impact of his downfall as the alpha sexual predator in power isn't done much justice without a fuller appraisal of his influence and specific means of manipulation. Further, while the overt acknowledgement of ideal next steps for progress is admirable, their presentation preceding the credits as a short series of brief lines of text seems a bit too slight. Still, the filmmakers have assembled a commendably extensive collection of film clips and consistently agreeable testimonies.
Where: Roy Thomson Hall (TIFF world premiere)
★★★½ review by kaleigh on Letterboxd
There is a scene in the film in which Naomi Klein asks an environmental activist what she thinks the main obstacle is in the fight for climate justice. The activist acts shy and admits that she doesn't know if she should say but whispers that it's "the economic system... capitalism." The entire documentary presents itself in this hesitant manner. We know Naomi Klein's politics and that the book the films is based off of is sub-headed "Capitalism vs. the Climate," but the film lacks that precision and its punch. Industry is clearly the perpetuator of the environmental disasters profiled in the film, but it is not proclaimed effectively and repeatedly enough that this industry is part of the global monster of capitalism. This is so much a problem with the documentary's message that the screening I attended was accompanied by a Q&A session after the film in which the speaker led the discussion by stating, "Obviously we do not want to give up capitalism, so how can we get capitalists and entrepreneurs on board with environmental justice?" The film does not do its audience service by failing to identify and explain the capitalist ideology and how it is inextricable from ecological degradation. To understand a thing, you must name it. To understand the climate crisis as something other than a hopeless abstraction, we must identify and name its primary source. The problem is capitalism. There can be no room for discussion of reform. The idea of such must seem as absurd and effete as it actually is. Capitalism can simply no longer exist if we want our planet to survive.
★★★★ review by drillvoice on Letterboxd
Powerful story of frontline struggles and a new way of thinking about the climate crisis.
★★★★★ review by alon89 on Letterboxd
5 out of 5 (Enjoyed the film from start to finish)
I left the cinema crying after watching this documentary. I will have to read Naomi Klein's book soon. She was here in Australia a couple of months ago and in her talk, she made a lot of compelling statements. Many people are saying, "Yeah, yeah, we know about that". The thing is, many people don't act on it. Worse yet are the people who ignore the issues about climate change, inequality, and oppression. There is something wrong about how the world has functioned in recent history, but not a lot of people recognize that. People are too desensitized. I guess it is easy to ignore if you're not from Detroit, if you're not from Kiribati, if you're not from the Philippines, or any other Third World country for that matter. Hence many, perhaps, won't see the value and the beauty of the message in the documentary and in what Naomi Klein has been saying - that we are ruining the world we're living in, that people are getting hurt, but those that are hurt are fighting back. All these movements are not trivial. It is moving to see people gather together for something that is for the good of everyone. Advocacy is a good thing and it is a shame if people don't see that.
★★★★½ review by nukle888 on Letterboxd
Very compelling documentary; let's save Earth!
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