Documentarian Damon Gameau (That Sugar Film) explores what the future would look like by the year 2040 if we simply embraced the best solutions already available to us. Structured as a visual letter to his 4-year-old daughter, Gameau blends traditional documentary footage with dramatised sequences to create a vision board for his daughter and the planet. As Liam Maguren explains, it might just shift your world for the better.
Climate change is not a fun subject to talk about. There’s a lot of scientific mumbo jumbo used to explain the situation, words the average person (like me) can’t fully wrap their head around. Media coverage can lean so hopelessly negative, it risks numbing people into thinking “Well… there’s nothing I can do.” How do we flip that? How can we make people understand something vital but complex? And how do you get people who want to act feel like it’s something worth doing? Something exciting, even? You get them to watch this film.
Using the same methods that worked so well in his 2014 feature That Sugar Film, filmmaker Damon Gameau bluntly and effortlessly brings the global issue of climate change down to a personal level with an apt analogy of a house filling with smoke. It’s a very human-to-human way of explaining a serious situation, one that’s felt lacking until now. When the film continues to present the possible solutions in a similar manner, that personal relatability goes a long way to making one feel like they can help.
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From independent solar grids to a wondrously alternative method of farming, all the proposed solutions in 2040 are nature-based mechanics that exist right now. Using his own daughter as a humanistic focal point, Gameau visualises what our world would look like in 20 years if we embraced these tools. And it goes beyond ‘fixing the planet’; 2040 manages to sell a future you really want to live in—regardless of climate change.
Sure, the year 2040 probably won’t look AS good as it does here, but the film isn’t trying to place bets on what the near-future will look like. Rather, it’s putting up a goal that anyone can aspire to, cementing its broad appeal with a sharp pace and the odd touches of corny humour.
If you’re a science nerd who’s already ditched petrol, stopped flying, gone vegan and started growing your own forest in an effort to help counter climate change, there’s probably little here for you. For everyone else, 2040 might just shift your world for the better.