TIFF 2020: I Am Greta Film Review

I Am Greta. Photo courtesy of TIFF.
I Am Greta. Photo courtesy of TIFF.

“People always tell us that young people are going to save the world. But there’s simply not enough time to wait.” Teenage climate activist, Greta Thunberg implores world leaders to take critical action now.

I Am Greta, directed by Nathan Grossman, follows the, seemingly, first year of Thunberg’s campaign to raise awareness and effectuate change for the entire world’s climate crisis. From the very beginning as a solo activist sitting in front of Swedish Parliament every Friday to a harrowing transatlantic crossing via a carbon-neutral boat to deliver a speech to the United Nations, Grossman captures the intense passion from the shy teenager with Asperger’s. 

The film is an intimate and captivating story of Thunberg’s resolute and unconscious courage. Thunberg remains calm and hyper-focused as she continues to deliver her message through peaceful protests (with tens of thousands of inspired followers) and appearances delivering speeches at Climate Change conferences around Europe. This old soul appears to rapidly emerge as a young leader via social media. 

I Am Greta. Photo courtesy of TIFF.

Thunberg’s direct and indignant message to world leaders inspires young climate change activists worldwide. Millions of people post videos in protest urging action be taken. However, Thunberg’s contempt for insincere activism is evident and she is careful to distance from those seeking notoriety. Her integrity and conviction are quite moving. 

Thunberg becomes frustrated by the continued promises of politicians but lack of action. At one point, Thunberg opens a speech in London, “Is my microphone on?” The audience laughs. Thunberg repeats the question until it is understood she is not joking. Her message is clear. She demands to be truly heard. 

As the film rises to the height of the arc, the mounting responsibility reveals an emotional breakdown during the voyage from Europe to New York, a gentle reminder that Thunberg is a fifteen-year-old girl. Thunberg express her famous outrage at the United Nations Climate Summit 2019, “This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet, you all come to us young people for hope? How dare you! You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words.” 

I Am Greta, a truly earnest and heartfelt film, will be released on Hulu on November 13, 2020. 

About Jillian Dale 19 Articles
Film festival coverage and digital content ninja.

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