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TIFF 2020 Review: I Am Greta

What started as a personal crusade for Greta Thunberg in front of the Swedish parliament buildings to bring attention to climate change becomes a global movement.

Taking in consideration that 15-year-old Greta Thunberg has Asperger syndrome which means that she has trouble with social interactions, has a single-minded focus, and requires a regular routine, it is hard not to marvel at her grace under pressure and easy to understand why her mother becomes teary-eyed recalling how far she has come in life.  A constant presence and chaperone is her father and it is fascinating seeing how their dynamic operates under the growing international attention.

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Not surprising there are detractors who quite openly go about character assassination using abusive language that is rather unbecoming to them on national television. Thunberg has a remarkable grasp of science and in particular of the English language even though she worries about not being grammatically correct.  It is amazing how much access that Swedish filmmaker Nathan Grossman is able to get behind the scenes with the Thunberg family.  A medal of bravery goes out to the cinematographer who documented the Atlantic Ocean crossing in a sailboat which was the method of transportation chosen by Greta to attend the United Nations headquarters in New York City.

The production has been criticized for being slick and a shallow exploration of Greta Thunberg and there is some validity to this as at times the documentary feels like a campaign ad.  But at the same time, one has to admire the bluntness and empathize with frustration that she displays when dealing with the political realm where corporate economics overrules public service.  As to whether Thunberg and her followers are able to bring about real change is doubtable; however, we cannot say that the world was not warned.

Trevor Hogg is a freelance video editor and writer who currently resides in Canada; he can be found at LinkedIn.

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