Last night I found myself heading to the Champs-Élysées with an assorted bunch of Transitioners and Transition Network staff to a very unusual event for us – a glitzy film premiere!
The film – Demain – focuses on solutions to the environmental crises we face, and takes a fairly holistic view. It moves at pace from food, to energy, then the economy, democracy, and finally – education. The film follows the explorations of Cyril Dion and Melanie Laurent (celebrities in France) who, after reading scary reports on climate change impacts, decided to go on a trip to find out about people all over the world finding solutions to the problems we face.
Despite focusing on solutions, the film doesn’t shy away from the problems – giving it a nice balance, and a really honest feel. I left with the feeling that this might be the positive, inspiring, counterpart that I’ve been waiting for to ‘An Inconvient Truth’ – and there’s no reason it shouldn’t be as influential.
The film features (/stars?) Transition Network’s own Rob Hopkins, and helps explain the increased frequency of people stopping him on the street (plus Paris is now filling up with environmental activists anyway…). He’s seen below with a Totnes £21 note.
The (huge) theatre was completely packed, and the film got a big standing ovation at the end. This really feels like an exciting platform to start questions about change, Transition, and the kind of world we want to live in, with a more ‘mainstream’ audience. For example, there’s an article about the film on PureTrend – a bit of a different platform than we’re used to…
The film was made with help from >€444,000 that was crowdfunded by over 10,000 people (see here). That’s pretty amazing. That many people who want to see solutions like Transition shared in a beautifully crafted way… To steal a quote from Rob (from the foreword to the book about Transition by Juan del Rio):
As a species we are fantastic at designing our own demise. We make endless films in which humankind is wiped out by a virus, by mutant robots, by an alien invasion, by a zombie apocalypse, by huge intelligent apes. We love it. Yet where are the films about the culture that saw an avertable crisis coming and responded with imagination, creativity and collective thinking, and managed to alter the trajectory of history? They barely exist.
This film feels like that second sort of film, and fits nicely with the recent publication of 21 Stories of Transition – a perfect accompaniment to the film in terms of the tone, and the key message: the solutions are already happening – get involved!
Rob’s reaction following the film (and it was the first time any of us had see it) – can be seen here (once it’s finished uploading).
Excitingly, the film is being shown at Le Bourget today to COP21 delegates, with Cyril, Melanie, and Rob answering questions after. It feels like a bit of a shift that a film that really challenges existing power structures and models of democracy, growth, business, etc. is being shown to delegates! I heard on the grapevine that the French finance minister tried to block it being shown… so were definitely on to something! I’m going along to the screening as well, and so I’ll get to see it all over again too (and I’m genuinely looking forward to it, only 12 hours after the last time!).
In her remarks after the film, Vandana Shiva, who also features in the film, said:
Every time they show bombs dropping, they should show this film
I couldn’t agree more, and I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about the film from me soon!
The trailer for the film can be viewed on the website.
PS. it wasn’t a bad view from the after party… Definitely not where I expected to end up when I came to Paris for COP21!