A FORCE OF NATURE.
It must be hard for a filmmaker not to craft a compelling documentary when you have this kind of access to its subject. This is a portrait of the teenage environmentalist Greta Thunberg, following her from the start, her lonely protests outside the Swedish parliament, to her rise as a global phenomenon, the star of a movement touching the hearts of millions, and meeting world leaders. We get very close to Thunberg, in private moments, on her own and with her family, and in very public moments where her patience is tried in the company of disappointing politicians and people looking to take selfies with her. More about Greta than the climate, but emotionally stirring, especially during that difficult Atlantic crossing.
2020-Sweden-Britain-U.S. Germany. 97 min. Color. Produced by Fredrik Heinig, Cecilia Nessen. Directed and photographed by Nathan Grossman.
Trivia: Swedish title: Greta. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emmanuel Macron, Pope Francis and António Guterres make appearances in the film.
Last word: “In August 2018, a friend of my mine who knew Greta’s family told me that she was going to do some small manifestation outside the Swedish parliament. I’m interested in climate-related topics, and I’ve done films and directing before. So I took my camera and my friend who’s a sound technician, and we went to this narrow street in the middle of the parliament building. There, this young girl sat by the stone wall with a sign. I went up to her, and I’d never met her before – in Sweden, she was totally unknown– and asked, ‘Don’t get your hopes up if I feel that isn’t interesting, but I might be here for one or two days if it’s okay for you.’ She said it was fine. She kept doing her activism, and I stepped back and started rolling.” (Grossman, Decider)