I was pleasantly surprised by this film – partly because I thought I had already seen it! I thought it was just one in a long line of films attempting to show the problems we’re facing and then showing the potential solutions. Think Demain, Transition 2, The Need to Grow, Kiss the Ground etc.
But here the premise is subtly different. We have the producer, Damian Gameau, considering his 4-year-old daughter’s future life and seeking out the best solutions that currently exist to imagine how they might look in 20 years’ time.
We see young Velvet as she is now, playing in the garden, planting a tree, then we see an imaginary 21-year-old Velvet as she considers her world in 2040.
The main themes addressed are Energy, Transport, Food and Farming, Marine Permaculture, and Education.
Energy – impressive microgrid solar systems connecting village homes in Bangladesh.
Transport – shared vehicles, driverless cars, less car ownership leading to space for urban food farms on rooftops and former carparks.
Food and Farming – regenerative agricultural practices to sequester carbon such as mixed arable crops, mob grazing cattle, more awareness of the impact of our diet, better land use, agroforestry, small-scale farming. Big Ag will not save us!
Marine Permaculture – an exciting initiative only recently gaining traction. Brian Von Herzen promotes seaweed farming at the Climate Foundation (https://www.climatefoundation.org/). Seaweed grows incredibly fast, sequesters carbon, and doesn’t use up precious land. It has many uses, including as human food, biofuel, fertilizer, in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
Education – of girls and women is the number one solution to a number of global problems. In Oberlin, Ohio, they have an innovative approach to community education using an Environmental Dashboard (https://environmentaldashboard.org/). Data on the town’s carbon footprint, water usage, food growing etc. is displayed and can be discussed in schools and community settings. Looks like a good idea!
All in all this film is a good use of an hour and a half of anyone’s time. It’s well constructed, informative and has enough new ideas to be inspiring. It also makes good use of visual effects.