Everyday Enviro with Elise - 2040, a welcome message of hope
Author: Elise Catterall
How hopeful and inspiring it is to know that, by putting into practice the solutions that currently exist, we can have a positive environmental future. This is the message of the fantastic family-friendly documentary 2040, currently screening in cinemas.
We saw the film as a family last weekend and to say we loved is an understatement. The film brings welcome relief from the predominant doom and gloom messages about the environment that currently flood mainstream media and instead presents a message of hope and optimism. This is a deliberate tactic to not make us complacent, but instead to inspire action.
2040’s filmmaker, Damon Gameau (who previously created That Sugar Film) has recognised that the overwhelmingly negative messages we currently receive do more to paralyse us than to motivate us and that given the option of solutions, we are actually activated and empowered. He hopes that the film with get us talking and agitating for change. And it completely delivered that for us – straight out of the cinema, my teenager started penning a letter to her school principal about removing single use plastics from the canteen.
The beauty of the film is that its message is accessible to both adults and kids. It combines a mixture of playful, kid-friendly animation, funny and heart-warming interviews with kids about their hopes for and visions of the future and more serious and technical interviews with scientists, researchers and environmental experts. These are all tied together with Damon’s warm narration.
The film took 3 years to make, of which a solid 8 months of that was spent researching the current state of things as well as the possible solutions that already exist. It is these existing solutions that form the backbone of the movie – that with ideas and options that currently exist, we can shift our environmental future. All the options are real and tangible, which is why Damon describes it as an exercise in ‘fact-based dreaming’. He wants us to know that there are solutions and there are many amazing people out there around the world, doing amazing things. This film showcases just some of them.
And while the film itself is motivating, the filmmakers have extended its impact with their ‘whatsyour2040’ website which allows you to create a personalised action plan so you can act straightway. One action item that came up for us was to get involved with Planet Ark’s upcoming National Tree Day – well, that’s a no brainer!
So, if you haven’t yet seen the film, please do so! Many cinemas are screening it at no cost for school-aged kids when they go with their parents, which is how we saw it. It’s the perfect antidote to the fear and inaction and an empowering, important family experience at the same time.
See you next time! - Elise
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