A documentary about teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg, which opens at the Venice Film Festival, seeks to remind the world occupied with the coronavirus that the climate crisis is just as urgent and will not go away.
Greta participated in a video conference from his school on Friday for the premiere of “I Am Greta,” which is presented out of competition in Venice (and will premiere on November 13 on the Hulu platform). The production follows the Swedish environmentalist from the start of her school strikes in Stockholm to her low-carbon travels worldwide, calling on political leaders to cut emissions.
Thunberg, now 17, asked the world not to forget the climate crisis and said that the environmental campaign continues “in the safest way that does not put anyone at risk, following the restrictions due to COVID-19.”
On Friday morning in Stockholm, he was making a protest before going to school wearing a mask and keeping his distance from others. Thunberg returned to school last month after taking a year off to do her activism.
Grossman had very close access to Greta and her family as she became a global media phenomenon. The result is a film that gives a much more complete and emotional portrait of an ordinary and extraordinary teenager.
Filming behind the scenes during his voyage across the Atlantic and his long train journeys to European capitals, Grossman shows a Thunberg who cries, struggles to translate a phrase into French, and becomes frustrated with his father, but maintains his composure in theaters.
The film belies some of Thunberg’s criticism, showing her writing her speeches and making it clear that she was the force behind the campaign, not her parents or financial interests. But at the same time, it reflects how the pressure on her was allowed to increase as the movement she unleashed grew.
Thunberg expressed appreciation that Grossman did not allow what she said to be a stereotype of “the angry and naive girl who sits in the United Nations General Assembly yelling at world leaders.”
Grossman, for his part, said Thunberg had few requests when he showed him his finished documentary. He asked if he could add more, although it could not be due to space reasons, not to cut things.
Thunberg said he did not feel Grossman’s presence and, in fact, sometimes wondered what he was doing as he was taking care of everything.
“Sometimes I doubted because you said that this would be something big and I said ‘why don’t they send a type of sound or something why aren’t there more professionals? So I think to some extent I doubted the seriousness of the project,” he said—Thunberg to Grossman.
But now, Thunberg said she is pleased with the result. Then she excused herself and went to take classes.