Greta Thunberg: A Year to Change the World [9/10]

Years from now, this linearly constructed documentary, “Greta Thunberg: A Year to Change the World,” will be watched as a crystalline gaze into the force that is Greta. Constructed as a simple tale – Thunberg takes a year off school to straddle the globe for activist and self-educational purposes – the documentary maintains a simple palette of scenes. Accompanied by a tone-neutral narration by Paul McGann, we see Greta in motion; Greta in major events (Davos, etc.); Greta as voice-over; Greta quizzing a scientist or engineer; Greta’s father Svante; and Greta as talking head. Even more than was the case with I Am Greta, a similarly focused documentary in 2020 (which I labeled “an incandescent film for our age“), Greta Thunberg inspires by showing, with refreshing candor and lack of hype, that Thunberg really is an ordinary person called to action by the climate emergency reality that should impel all of us to drive change. She enunciates so clearly the thoughts we know we should be thinking. Her consistent call to “follow the science” is brilliantly pithy and on song. In this documentary, the rise of the Covid-19 pandemic actually interrupts Thunberg’s plans, but in a way, witnessing her isolating and refreshing adds to to the movie’s grace. Wonderful.

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