I Am Greta + Q&A (12A)Cast: Greta Thunberg
Author(s): Olof Berglind, Nathan Grossman
Director: Nathan Grossman
Release Date: 16/10/2020 (selected cinemas)
Running Time: 102mins
In 2018, a 15-year-old Swedish climate change activist delivered a swingeing speech at a United Nations conference in Katowice, Poland and sparked one simple question. Who is Greta Thunberg? This documentary claims to have the answers and follows the teenager over the course of 12 months when a global media storm engulf her. Accompanied by her father Svante, Greta travels around the world, pricking consciences and urging global leaders to make firm decisions not hollow promises.
LondonNet Film Review
I Am Greta (12A)
In 2018, a 15-year-old Swedish climate change activist delivered a swingeing speech at a United Nations conference in Katowice, Poland. “You are not mature enough to tell it like it is, even that burden you leave to us children,” she scolded the attending dignitaries. Her stony-faced, sobering summation – “You have run out of excuses and we are running out of time” – sparked one simple question. Who is Greta Thunberg?…
Filmmaker Nathan Grossman claims to have the answers in his polished documentary, which follows the teenager over the course of 12 months when her life became something akin to a blockbuster film. “A very surreal movie because the plot would be so unlikely,” quips Greta in voiceover. Slickly assembled and politely intrusive, I Am Greta isn’t the warts’n’all portrait that the title might suggest but an affecting and reverential study of a girl with Asperger syndrome, rudely dismissed by one American news commentator as “a mentally ill Swedish child who is being exploited by her parents and the media”.
Early footage from Stockholm in August 2018, before the speech, shows Greta sitting on the pavement opposite the parliament building with a handmade sign – School Strike For Climate – and pamphlets detailing her cause. “Adults say one thing and do something completely different,” she laments as other schoolchildren join her movement, giving birth to the hashtag FridaysForFuture. Scenes between Greta and her omnipresent father Svante are the most touching, particularly instances when he pleads her to make time in their gruelling schedule to eat. She repeatedly refuses, determined to share her message as loudly as possible. “Once the climate crisis has gotten your attention, you can’t look away,” she argues.
Greta is clearly uncomfortable with the prospect of heightened media interest. “No one will know who you are,” Svante assures his daughter as they leave the conference centre in Poland. “That’s nice,” she replies sweetly, oblivious to the global media storm that will quickly engulf them both. For the most part, Grossman’s film retains a respectful distance with brief glimpses of Greta’s school graduation ceremony and video calls to her mother.
One of the few occasions when reality bites takes place on a sailing yacht in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean as Greta records an audio diary during her emissions-free journey from Portsmouth to New York. “I don’t want to have to do all this,” she tearfully confides as waves crash against the monohull. “It’s too much for me.” For those few seconds, Greta is visible in her truest and most relatable form: a frightened girl at the mercy of a natural world she hopes to protect, who simply wants to be at home with her dogs Moses and Roxy. So who is Greta Thunberg? I’m still not sure.
– Jo Planter
London Cinemas Showing I Am Greta + Q&A
From: Friday 23rd October
To: Thursday 29th October
From: Friday 30th October
To: Thursday 5th November
No cinema infomation at the moment