SECTION World Cinema Documentary Competition
COUNTRY United Kingdom/Canada
RUN TIME 112 min
Before it was the world’s largest activist organization, Greenpeace was the love child of an eclectic group of Vancouver neighbors (journalists, scientists, and hippies). United in their opposition to a U.S. atomic test on an Alaskan island, they sailed an aging fishing boat straight for the test site. Armed only with cameras and faith in the power of images, the rainbow warriors were born.
The byproduct of their media savvy is an archival treasure trove from which Jerry Rothwell has constructed a gripping chronicle of Greenpeace’s early history. Remarkable footage, audio recordings, and photographs capture its most dramatic, iconic, and poignant moments, from the remnants of mass slaughter at an abandoned whaling station to the maneuvering of Zodiacs between the whales and Russian harpoons.
How To Change The World unfolds as a hippie heist movie-turned-high sea adventure but remains an intimate portrait of the group’s original members and of activism itself—idealism vs. pragmatism, principle vs. compromise. They agreed that a handful of people could change the world; they just couldn’t agree how to do it. —J.N.
COMPANY Met Film Production