The youngest climate activist ever, Greta Thunberg, on the big screen

“I am Greta” is the title of the biographical documentary directed by Swedish director Nathan Grossman and based on Greta Thunberg’s environmental campaign to fight climate crisis. The film premiered at the 2020 Venice International Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival, where it has been acclaimed by critics. The release date was 16 October 2020 in Germany and the UK, 13 November in the United States. In other countries, such as Italy, it should have been released in cinemas in early November, but due to Coronavirus second wave, it has recently been made available to watch on streaming and on-demand platforms.

The film distributed by Hulu covers a year in the life of the environmentalist icon, alternating the events related to his public struggle for climate change and moments of private life, trying to give a more complete and real portrait of Greta, one that is far from the way mass media make her look. “You did succeed in framing me as myself and not the person that the media frames me to be, not the angry, naive child who sits in the United Nations General Assembly screaming at world leaders. Because that’s not the person I am […] So, I think he definitely made me seem like a more shy, nerdy person which is the person that I am” said the girl a month after going back to school, referring to the director. 

Grossman, who was interested in the topic of climate change, decides to follow Greta already during her first  strikes outside the Swedish parliament with the idea of collecting interesting material for an environmental-themed short film. Suddenly, however, the activist’s message crossed Scandinavian borders, reaching millions of people all over  the world who started striking in favor of the climate. Then it was transformed into a media event. So Grossman went from filming a “tiny woman” with braids outside the Riksdag in Stockholm with a sign saying “Skolstrejk för klimatet” (literally meaning “school strike for the climate”) to accompanying Greta, along with her father, around Europe and the whole world to attend important events in the presence of institutions and heads of state. 

From the 2008 United Nations conference on climate change held in Katowice in Poland to the meeting with French President Macron at the Elysée; from the audience with Pope Francis in Rome to the now very famous speech given by Greta at the Climate Action Summit in New York, that she reached by crossing the ocean on a sailing boat. But also the sleepless nights spent writing and reviewing her speeches, anxieties and dealing with bullies; her passion for dance and her love for her horse and her dog Roxy. I am Greta therefore shows strengths and weaknesses of the most adored stubborn girl among adolescents, giving a human and more realistic image of the girl who has managed to put the bigs of the international political scene in uncomfortable positions.

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