How to Change the World
UK/CA, 2015, 112 min, English OV with German subtitles
Directed by: Jerry Rothwell
with filmmaker Jerry Rothwell (Sundance Special Jury Award winner) - via Videostream
ELEVATE, System Change not Climate Change Graz
“In Vancouver in 1971, we have the biggest concentration of tree-huggers, draft-dodgers, shit disturbing unionists, radical students, garbage dump stoppers, freeway fighters, pot smokers, vegetarians, nudists, Buddhists, fish preservationists, and back-to-the-landers on the planet,” wrote Bob Hunter. “And we are all haunted by the spectre of a dead world.”
In the fall of 1971, the young journalist volunteered to take a leaky, antique fishing boat dubbed „The Greenpeace“ into the centre of the cold war. The US-American plan to conduct nuclear tests on Amchitka Island in the Arctic had galvanized a generation and Hunter found himself at the centre of a burgeoning movement. Bob understood the effects of media, and the revolutionary power of an image to shape public opinion. As the boat set forth, with a hand-painted sail and a new generation of eco-freaks aboard, the intent was to plant „a mind bomb“ and bring the eyes of the world to what was happening. „Bob, we are all gonna die“, was the less generous prognosis of fellow-Greenpeace member Patrick Moore.
The first campaign succeeded in generating enormous media attention, and the stage was set for Greenpeace’s next, and perhaps most legendary campaign. The decision to save the whales was received with less than universal acclaim by the rest of the Greenpeace crew, but they took to the high seas, armed with youthful idealism, the I Ching, and rubber zodiacs. What followed must be witnessed to be believed. Staggering archival footage, intimate and deeply honest interviews with the organization’s main participants including Rex Weyler, Walrus Oakenbough, Patrick Moore, and Paul Watson are woven masterfully together, through narrated sequences of Bob Hunter’s extraordinary writing.
How to Change the World is a testimony to Bob Hunter’s poetic spirit, and more importantly a call for radical action. If, as Bob asserts, „Ninety percent of history is being in the right place at the right time“, then, perhaps, we are again standing on the edge of a global revolution whose time has come. – DW
“A real-life thriller with larger-than-life heroes” – The Huffington Post
SUNDANCE WORLD CINEMA DOCUMENTARY SPECIAL JURY AWARD: EDITING