This Changes Everything (2015)
Time for a Rewrite
This documentary reexamines the paradigm of mankind’s dominance over nature, and investigates the impact of fossil fuel demands on both the environment and society. According to the film, the 400-year-old tale of human science’s conquest of nature, and its application in the quest for limitless economic growth, is false and untenable. The planet can no longer support the status quo, and the consequences of this dated mindset are rapidly catching up. Although potentially heart-wrenching at times, the doc does seek to offer hope to viewers through the numerous activists and organizations that are taking part in the struggle for change.
The film’s narrator is Naomi Klein, a Canadian author who also wrote the book of the same name. She shares with us her experience as she travels the world and learns of the impacts of resource extraction on local communities, and the struggle that ignites from those seeking to resist the fossil fuel industry. She interviews a few of the many who are standing up for their environment, as they try to protect their land, air, and water from industrial interests that hunger for the resources that feed the archaic model of infinite growth.
Despite the pain and frustration, as viewers witness the piecemeal destruction of our planet, the film does indeed encourage hope. Examples are shared of people coming together to defend what they know to be important, and it truly is inspiring to see such people standing up for the environment. Furthermore, the film suggests that this difficult time is also one of opportunity for reinventing the economic model. Yes, this present system is at fault, but the very characteristics that cause it to be unsustainable will also force society to find an alternative model. If we hope to survive our blatant disregard for the environment, then we as a species will therefore have to change the way we interact with nature or continue to face the consequences. On the bright side, history has taught us that humans are clever and resilient problem-solvers, all we have to do now is accept that it is a problem and come together to solve it.