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 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!
★★★★ review by Ryan Kepert on Letterboxd
A great introduction to the underlying ethos of the climate 'debate' as well as touching on Merchants of Doubt (book & film, check it ppl) and the economic Zeitgeist (Addendum is recommended starting point).
The strong point of the film is its clear, though sometimes simplistic, focus on the intersectionality of the human condition, and our systems of interacting with the world at a fundamental, ideologically flawed, level.
Though, I didn't appreciate the de-valuing of non-human animals' plight, and by-extension, synergy of the ecosystem to which we are part.
(A final suggestion of Cowspiracy, for a little insight into that).
You begin to realise the absurdity of it all when disaster relief volunteers bag rubbish and broken belongings in plastic bags made of petrochemicals. Drive around in trucks. Blog about corporate sustainability without a thought to living sustainably personally. Activists sitting around pristine forest creeks, that are marked for industry excavation projects, drinking some kind of oil-looking cola beverage from disposable plastic cups and bottles.
Activist pressure on the status quo is important, but considering the power and money involved, it is ultimately futile in-isolation. No matter the progressive reforms made, if the people still demand products built from the systems they oppose.
Energy (literally even), needs to be just-as/if-not more focused, on personal responsibility, co-operatives, exchange divorced from the dominant economic system, behavior on a local and even individual level.
The incontrovertible power that each person has to become the change they wish to see, is not being fully realised or utilised.
We need to open-source the solutions to our own everyday behaviors and habits.
Build the new, make the old obsolete, to make change permanent and undeniable.
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