AIFF: 2040

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2040 (Available April 16-17)

Written as a letter to his young daughter, 2040 is an entertaining documentary by Australian writer/director, Damon Gameau (That Sugar Film), envisioning his hopes and dreams of a better planet for her in 20 years.

Instead of bombarding viewers with a lot of dystopian-ish drama, this film takes an upbeat and inspiring look at the ways innovations of today, if broadened and utilized by everybody, could create a huge turnabout concerning the future of our planet and the global climate crisis we are currently facing.

The crew travels around the world—from the UK and US to China, Sweden and Bangladesh, interviewing bright and passionate innovators who are creating change, developing energy sources and educating for the good of the planet right now. From seaweed farming to decentralized solar energy communities to autonomous vehicles, Gameau takes us all on a visual escapade back and forth between 2019 and 2040, when his daughter would be a graduate.

Fun and creative visual effects, like an ocean in the bathtub and a magnetic, rollable video phone that sticks on a frig, not only tickle our minds and enlighten us, but make this a superb documentary for kids too. This is one of the brightest, most encouraging films yet, to tell a different story about humankind’s potential to live in a greater, healthier future.

More sobering data in the film include the culture for females around the globe, and if it doesn’t change, the population explosion could mean irreversible damage by 2040. According to Gameau, 65,000,000 girls today won’t complete their education and will, on average, have five or more children. But Dr. Amanda Cahill, CEO The Next Economy, suggests girls who stay in school longer and have access to good health and reproductive services plus better work opportunities will delay having children until they’re ready, and have fewer.

“What this says, as a collective, is it slows down the population growth rate, which means there’s less pressure and competition for access to a whole range of resources, whether it’s water or land, and their children can stay in school longer as well and, over time, they should break that cycle of poverty.” – Dr. Amanda Cahill

Vested interest groups (i.e., fossil fuel industry), Gameau points out, spend a billion dollars a year to prevent us from lowering our emissions; twisting our minds by creating doubt and confusion, using propaganda-style websites that look environmentally proactive, and fake algorithm bots to make it look like their input has more supporters than it does.

But these downers aren’t over-stated and the film is really a joy to view. 2040 is a movement that has already begun with thousands of trees planted, marine permaculture now being funded in Tasmania and hundreds of farmers registering to alter their methods. It is a film that gives us hope and a brighter destiny to look forward to and one not to miss. CATHY E. KELLEY

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