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Documentary Review: I AM GRETA

At a young age, the climate change crisis left Greta Thunberg severely worried and unwell. She stopped eating, was starving herself to death, and showed signs of selective mutism. Her worried parents realised she would not budge from her position, so to aid her recovery, the Thunberg family embarked on a new journey, taking small steps to change their high-consumption lifestyle for the better.

Now, every Friday, Greta skips school to sit outside the Swedish Parliament buildings. Armed with the now infamous sign “Skolstrejk för klimatet” (meaning ‘School Strike for the Climate), Greta has pledged to continue striking until Sweden aligns with the Paris Agreement, an international agreement on climate change.

The fundamental aim of The Paris Agreement is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by limiting the rise in global temperature through several measures. If our global temperatures reach above another two degrees Celsius, we face a nightmare scenario, facing risks to our livelihoods, health, food security, water supply and economic growth. As I write this, many countries are already encountering the disastrous effects of climate change.

Although there are 195 country signatories to The Paris Agreement, the sad reality is that countries are failing to meet the agreement’s goals, perhaps aside from when coronavirus-related lockdowns forced us to reduce our emissions.

Frightened by the inaction and lack of progress with the climate crisis by political leaders worldwide, the I AM GRETA documentary tells Greta’s story through compelling, never-before-seen footage following her global impact as she sparks school strikes and protests around the world.

I AM GRETA gives us insight into who Greta is. Although she is only 17 years old, she teaches us many things, including patience, perseverance, and kindness to others. She appreciates the world is complex but continues to persevere with her campaign to inspire and influence change.

Like all humans, even Greta has bad days when the pressures of life get too much. However, she gets up and continues her fight, fielding Twitter hatred and death threats, much to the worry of her parents. Although Greta has become a worldwide celebrity; the document shows how she always steers the narrative away from her and back to addressing the climate crisis.

Greta still strikes on a Friday, encouraging students around the world to do the same with her #FridaysForFuture movement. And if you don’t see the point in school children striking for their future, watch I AM GRETA with an open mind. After all, we are extras, not lead characters on this earth. If we don’t act now, it’ll be too late.

I didn’t know much about Greta before watching I AM GRETA but what I loved about her was her relatability. She dances like no one is watching, laughs hysterically over funny moments, bonds with her father over silly things, and her sense of humour is on point.

I AM GRETA renewed my spirit to live more sustainably and influence political change. I admire Greta and how she uses her influence for good, and I hope that after watching the I AM GRETA documentary, you will too.

I AM GRETA is screening in cinemas nationwide now.

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