Uplifting environmental doco offers positive solutions for communities to change the world while politicians bicker. Inspiring.
Scooping Most Promising Actress at the 2007 César Awards for her turn as concerned sibling Lili in Philippe Lioret’s Don’t Worry, I’m Fine (Je Vais Bien, ne t’en Fais Pas), prolific French star Mélanie Laurent has also made the jump into English-language cinema, most notably in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds.
Multi-talented, having directed two features of her own (The Adopted/Breathe), Laurent also took time out to travel the world with environmental activist, co-director and writer Cyril Dion and film the 2015 Best Documentary Film César-winning doco Tomorrow (Demain).
An environmental epic of world-ending proportions, it uses as its basis a 2012 report that food, oil and water would soon be so scarce as to threaten humanity’s viability if dramatic change is not embraced within 20 years. Broken down into chapters covering everything from food sustainability, to economic, to political will, while there is certainly terror and sadness at what we are doing to our world, the beauty of Tomorrow is that it offers real world solutions.
Simply put, Laurent and Dion visit locally-driven communities from a village in the north of England, to Detroit to a village disregarding India’s strict caste system all of which have made positive changes, from reclaiming areas of urban decay for inner-city farming to the local currencies revitalising small businesses.
Injected with a rewarding sense of human spirit and humour, the great thing about many of these small-scale interventions is that they make bloody good sense, particularly economically and also in community-building, so much so that even the most hardened climate change denier might be won over by the results.
With Australia’s politicians locked in a farcical battle over environmental policy as the doomsday clock keeps ticking, this uplifting Alliance Française French Film Festival highlight is a much-needed beacon of hope through practicality.
Stephen A Russell @SARussellwords
Book tickets to see Tomorrow at AFFFF here.