The Island President (2011)
Getting the Word Out
This documentary follows Mohamed Nasheed the (then) president of the Republic of Maldives on his quest to generate the necessary attention and subsequent policy measures required to help prevent his country from being swallowed up by climate change. The Maldives, a collections of islands in the Indian Ocean, is home to aprx. 350, 000 (human) inhabitants all of whom are in danger of becoming climate refugees as global temperatures increase and ocean waters rise.
Treading the Political Currents
The film does a good job of capturing the president’s energy and sentiments, and follows him to a UN Summit where he does his best to advocate for combating climate change. Mr. Nasheed himself had already struggled immensely for political freedom in the Maldives and spent a number of years in prison for his political beliefs.
Behind Bars Once Again
Since the release of this documentary, things have taken a turn for the worst for President Nasheed. In February 2015, Nasheed, the first democratically elected President of the Maldives, was forced at gunpoint to resign. The coup d’etat, orchestrated by police and military personnel, was prompted by a faction of individuals loyal to the former Maldive dictator. With a gun to his head he was was left with no choice. Following his “resignation,” he then was literally dragged before the Maldives Criminal Court, where police were ordered to keep him locked up until the end of his trial. As a result, the democratically elected Mr. Nasheed has once again found himself in a prison cell.
He has since been sentenced to 13 in prison on trumped up charges of terrorism. Nasheed’s imprisonment, as a result of these politically motivated charges, are being decried by Amnesty International and the international community at large.