2040 – movie review

Inspirational. Damon Gameau makes compelling and engaging documentaries (That Sugar Film really struck a chord). Importantly, he delivers his messages in a decidedly different manner. He puts himself at the centre of the docos and makes them relatable. Apart from consulting experts, they feature his family. In the case of 2040, particularly his four-year-old daughter, Velvet.

The focus of the film is how the world could look when Velvet is 25. Drawing on top minds from around the world to focus on climate, economics, technology, civil society, agriculture and sustainability, 2040 maps out a pathway for change. It’s a transformation that can lead us to a more ecologically sustainable and equitable future. Gameau embarks on a global journey to meet the innovators and change-makers pioneering the best solutions already available today to improve the health of our planet and societies.

Gameau’s docos are beautifully shot. 2040 is a really good looker, both above ground and under sea. The cinematographer is Hugh Miller (Ghosthunter). He makes superb use of technology and visual effects to supplement the pictures and aid his cause.

The interviews with children aged between 6 and 11 – their thoughts and hopes laid bare – are nothing short of sensational. The kids are natural and strong and cheeky. He raises some wonderful concepts raised here.

Gameau has an excellent speaking voice, a wonderful screen presence and a great turn of phrase. My only fear is a talking point at the end of the doco, namely whether we have the political will to make the necessary changes? My cynical self says “no”. In the last month a report came out saying one million species are threatened by mankind’s practices. So, will lip service to environmental concerns be enough, even when supported by those who are passionate about the subject?

Gameau has alerted us and given us hope that things are being done. There’s an active campaign to affect change off the back of this film. Still, my fears for the future remain.

Director: Damon Gameau
Release Date: 23 May 2019
Rating: G

Alex First

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