(director/writer: Damon Gameau; cinematographer: Hugh Miller; editor: Jane Usher; music: Bryony Marks; cast: Damon Gameau, Paul Hawken (environmentalist), Helena Norberg-Hodge (Activist), Eva Lazarro (Gameau’s young daughter Velvet), Zoe Gameau; Runtime: 92; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Nick Batzias, Anna Kaplan, Virginia Whitwell, Damon Gameau; Together Films; 2019-In English, Bengali, Swahili and Swedish, with subtitles)

“Voices the optimistic sentiment that by following good science there’s still time to save the planet.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

In this New Age glibly presented environmental documentary about climate change, targeting a teen audience, the Australian actor,  Damon Gameau (“That Sugar Film”), voices the optimistic sentiment that by following good science there’s still time to save the planet.

Gameau’s upbeat spiel relies on him having the skills to break down several complex ideas about the environment into an accessible and informative format that he can communicate to us. He aims to inspire people rather than frighten them with alarming news.

Gameau wants these problems resolved so when his young daughter of 4, Velvet (Eva Lazarro), will be 25, the world will be a better place to live in (racially and environmentally).

We follow Gameau as he visits various schools and countries, uses stop-motion animation in his storytelling, entertains a discussion on the topic of interconnected microgrids (about houses with the ability to trade solar power if connected), and interviews some leading scientists, academics and activists in the ecological field. It leaves us looking at an evolved future that Gameau believes can be achieved if we want to–as the film shows us how “streets in the future can be reformatted to carry new forms of public transport and autonomous vehicles” and how by better farming methods we can prevent soil erosion.

Hey, I can dig some good news about the future. In twenty years I’ll let you know if this activist filmmaker got it right. But I still feel more comfortable being the cynic.

REVIEWED ON 6/18/2020  GRADE: B –