The story of teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg is told through compelling, never-before-seen footage in this documentary following her rise to prominence and her global impact as she sparks school strikes and protests around the world.
In 2018, 15-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg held a school strike outside her country’s Parliament building in Stockholm. At first she sat alone, handing out information and answering questions from passersby. Slowly, others began to join her—and within months she had sparked a worldwide movement.
Directed by Nathan Grossman, I AM GRETA offers a personal and inspiring glimpse inside Greta’s path to becoming an internationally known environmental activist. Shot in the style of cinéma vérité and with support from the Thunberg family, cameras capture Greta’s meetings with government leaders, headline-making public appearances, and global protests. But they also depict Greta’s life outside of the moments visible on news channels worldwide: laughing at home with her family, writing impassioned speeches, and trying to handle the mounting stress of nonstop travel, public scrutiny and becoming the face of the climate change cause.
“I really like the film and I think it gives a realistic image of myself and my daily life. I hope anyone who watches the film can finally understand that we young people aren’t school striking just for fun. We are protesting because we don’t have a choice. A lot has of course happened since I started school striking, but sadly we are still stuck on square one. The changes and the level of awareness needed are nowhere to be seen today. All that we ask for is for our society to treat the climate crisis as a crisis, and give us a safe future. I think the film shows just how far that is from happening right now. It shows that the urgency of the scientific message isn’t getting through.Greta Thunberg
Greta, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, impresses everyone from UN delegates, to Pope Francis, to Hollywood A-listers with her intricate knowledge of climate issues and unwavering dedication. However, as Greta’s celebrity grows, so does her frustration with politicians who don’t heed her warnings about climate change. As someone who thrives on routines and appreciates solitude, the unpredictable schedule and global visibility takes its toll. Greta’s father, Svante, travels alongside his daughter and becomes deeply concerned by the hateful words—and even death threats—aimed at her by pundits, politicians and climate-change deniers.
The film culminates with Greta’s arduous two-week journey by sailboat to the UN Climate Action Summit in New York City, where she’s greeted by crowds chanting her name. (Greta stopped flying because of the high emissions caused by air travel.) Today, her #FridaysForFuture movement has organised climate strikes on every continent except Antarctica. As she tells the UN, “The world is waking up, and change is coming whether you like it or not.”
The documentary will be playing in New Zealand cinemas nationwide from 16 October 2020. Find out more here.