Over the past few years, the climate crisis has gained a lot of attention, mostly because of Greta Thunberg, a Swedish activist who has led the fight for change. She just turned eighteen at the beginning of January and has been protesting since she was fifteen years old. It started with a school strike leading up to the Swedish election. When matters began to worsen, she extended the strike to every Friday. The strike has been occurring ever since 2018, with growing support from the media. Due to her popularity, Greta has been asked to speak at the UN and many other countries. This October, her documentary was released.
In ninety minutes, the film goes over what she has done for the fight against climate change and how it has affected her life. She has Asperger’s and has struggled with depression and bullying, yet is still determined to make a difference. Greta has said that being autistic is a strength, because she is able to see the details many overlook, but some have been quick to criticize her for it. Her neurodivergence has been used to demonize her and dismiss her point of view.
The film was far more than a boring documentary. Greta and her father have many scenes where they speak to each other like they would without a camera, and the audience gets a glimpse into their personal lives. It’s almost hard to believe that she is a real person; her life has consisted of one incredible event after another. She’s been incredibly brave, speaking with world leaders and addressing crowds at international events and protests. In fact, rather than take a plane to New York, she crossed the Atlantic by boat to reduce her carbon footprint. It took weeks of travel and she often felt seasick, but it was for more than to just prove a point and be consistent – Greta genuinely cares about the climate and refuses to add to the crisis we face.
Even after all that she’s dealt with, Greta is a compassionate and hardworking human being. Leaders have spent years ignoring the science, but they’ve finally been forced to listen to the activists and protestors that work tirelessly for change. Recently, most of the countries in the world signed the Paris Agreement, showing that they were willing to address their carbon emission issue and attempt to fix it. The fight is far from over, but it’s not too late to change.
I Am Greta. Directed by Nathan Grossman. B-Reel Films, 2020.