Posts Tagged ‘“I Am Greta”’

Greta Thunberg

“I AM GRETA” My rating: B+

97 minutes | MPAA rating:

She’s only 15. She’s autistic.

Yet in just two years Sweden’s Greta Thunberg has become the inspiration for an international movement.

She has become a self-educated expert on climate change (or at any rate, she knows more about it than most elected leaders) and is not shy about kicking the collective asses of the grownups who, in her opinion, are selling out humanity’s future for a petroleum fix.

Documentarist Nathan Grossman picked Greta as his subject more than two years ago when she was waging a one-girl protest outside Sweden’s house of parliament.  Talk about good instincts!

This child — who admits to liking animals more than humans and has little tolerance for chitchat and socializing — had decided to go on strike from her school every Friday in order to sit on a sidewalk passing out home-made flyers.

In a telling exchange, a woman passerby asks why she isn’t in class. Greta’s answer: “Why get an education if there’s no future?”

Since then she has inspired other young people to protest their governments’ failure in dealing with climate change. She’s addressed UN diplomats, met with presidents and prime ministers.

Despite the occasional “down” day and nagging doubts that the human-fueled destruction of our planet can be reversed in time, Greta plugs away at her message. It’s equal parts inspirational and heartbreaking.

We learned that young Greta was so traumatized by a climate documentary that she stopped eating and talking for months.  This on top of abuse and/or indifference from schoolmates weirded out by her high-functioning Asperger’s.

Somehow she came out of her funk, driven by her inner spirit to draw attention to the plight of the planet. She started with her own suburban Stockholm family, pushing them to a vegan diet and an electric car.  With the help of a photographic memory (and an obviously high IQ…how many teens are fluent in Swedish and English, with a smattering  of French?), she crafted her arguments and began making her case.

As much as this is Greta’s story, “I A Greta” is also about her father, Svante Thunberg, who serves as her primary protector on their many travels (mom Malena and a little sister remain in Sweden). It’s his job to make sure his willful daughter eats (her mind is racing so fast simple sustenance is an afterthought), gets rest and has a shoulder to lean on when the weight of responsibility and isolation becomes too much.


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