Review by Chelsea Pickens
2040 is really what we all need right now. Like the majority of young-ish people I know, I worry about climate change when it’s brought to my attention, I try to do things in my own life to hopefully reduce a little bit of environmental impact, and I support activists and politicians trying to make a difference in the right direction. But on the whole, I am passive because the conversation just seems so huge and so scary. I have so little control over the actual big changes and decisions that are needed for our planet, and the damaging systems around me seem so hard to budge, that I largely just shut down. It just seems too difficult and too depressing. Damon Gameau addresses exactly these feelings in his documentary 2040, created as a video letter of hope to his young daughter.
The premise of the film involves Gameau traveling the world in search of solutions that are available currently to solve the crisis of global warming, and reflecting on what the world could look like if we implemented such changes on a large scale by 2040. This involves regular ‘flash-forwards’ to a potential future of hope to illustrate potential positive impacts, broken up by experts explaining the issues and solutions in accessible language, aided by some admittedly a-bit-cheesy special effects to keep the story visually interesting. Gameau himself has a knack for explaining complex issues in simple and interesting ways, and one of the highlights of the film for me was when he explained what climate change actually is and where our planet is headed in the beginning of the film, using objects and spaces in his own house. We all probably need a bit of brushing up on our high school science when it comes to these pressing issues really.
I enjoyed Gameau’s travels around the world (despite the obvious and acknowledged impact of air travel on the problem at hand), showcasing community and individual efforts from different countries dedicated to doing things differently. These people and groups made solutions and change actually feel possible and hopeful, real steps that if implemented widely could really heal our planet. Gameau also cleverly uses clips of children around the world talking about what they hope for their futures to really get the emotions and feelings of responsibility to future generations flowing. Well played Gameau. At the end of the film he summarises some relatively simple social steps that need to be taken up if we can hope to maintain any image of this healed world, which really did help me feel good about the steps I already do take.
It is fantastic that work such as this, about such an important and pressing issue which many of us have disconnected with, has made it to the big screens in an enjoyable and accessible way. Now can somebody just organise for those big governmental players in the world to sit down and watch it please..? That would be great, cheers.