To create a snapshot of what our lives could be like in 2040, Damon Gameau ( That Sugar Film) has toured the world finding the latest innovations that we can implement right now, to improve our lives and the lives of our children and grandchildren by 2040. She Society were delighted to be invited along by Madman Entertainment and Think Tank Communications to a special advanced screening of the film. We loved the positive messages it contained for the future. The large crowd who were in the audience were mostly dedicated teachers who’d ventured out on a wet and gloomy Brisbane night right at the end of term. By the end, the positive energy was palpable and the audience were very receptive to the messages on screen.The spontaneous applause at the end of the film highlighted how well Gameau’s message was received.
Gameau’s film is structured as a visual letter to his four- year-old daughter about the world he hopes she will inherit. Who better to take along than my youngest Millenial son to compare and contrast my Baby Boomer attitudes with his own? He studied Sustainability at University so I was very interested in his opinion. We both agreed that the film was amazing. It was refreshing to hear such a positive message and be provided with ideas and things that we can do right now to make our planet a healthier place by 2040.
Damon Gameau’s 2015 documentary, That Sugar Film , saw him turn himself into a human lab rat to document the effects of sugar on the body. At the time of its release the film was Australia’s most successful documentary ever made. This latest film 2040 shows his skill again, as he explores what the future could be like if we embraced the best solutions already available to us to improve the planet and then shifted them rapidly into mainstream.
The film blends traditional documentary with dramatised sequences and high end visual effects to create a vision board of how these regenerative practices could help shape the world for future generations. Drawing on the best minds from around the world to focus on climate, economics, technology, civil society, agriculture and sustainability, the film maps out a pathway for change that can lead us to a more ecologically sustainable and equitable future. 2040 is an aspirational film, full of hope and helps us to believe that the way forward is not necessarily bleak but that with some smart changes anything is possible.
I loved the fact that the views of 100 children aged 8-11 were taken into account when making this film. The views of the children drive the narrative and send Gameau off in search of solutions for such diverse issues as deforestation, solar power and the future of cars.
One of the planet fixers that really interested me was the potential of seaweed to regenerate the oceans. I eat a lot of seaweed as it is beneficial to my thyroid. One of my writing friends is a scientist who is an expert in seaweed and always extols the virtues and uses for this remarkable plant. Gameau takes us to Massachusetts where seaweed is being used to regenerate the ocean by bringing cooler water from below to counteract the damage of global warming. Seaweed is one of the fastest growing organisms on the planet, growing half a metre a day and can be used for food, livestock feed, bio- fuel and fibre. Where the seaweed grows fish are returning and the water is becoming more alkaline. It sounds like a perfect idea for Australian waters.
I was flabbergasted to learn that one of my own major messages was at the heart of making the world a better place. My favourite quote comes from Princess Raina of Jordan and says, “ If you educate a man, you educate an individual. But if you educate a woman, you educate a nation. When girls are educated, their countries become stronger and more prosperous…. Young women who want an education will not be stopped.”
One of the strongest messages from the movie was the role of empowering women. Empowering women lessens poverty, improves the lives of families and communities and has repercussions far into the future. What a wonderful message to share with the world and his young daughter.
Gameau showcased an Australian farmer who was teaching others how to regenerate their overworked soil and also produce cattle feed from naturally occurring plants. This method also helps prevent run off into our rivers and oceans.
In Bangladesh, Gameau showed communities who are off the grid and using and sharing solar power to provide energy for their whole area.The benefits of having power has a knock on effect. With power children have light to do homework and families can gain information from television or complete work that would have been left until the next day. These and many more innovations prove that there are many viable things we can do today to improve our world.
What did my Millennial think?
2040 is one of those rare documentaries that stays with you long after it ends. It takes a completely different approach to climate change and steers clear of the usual gloom and doom tactics. Rather than leaving you overwhelmed , you leave with a renewed sense of positivity. Not because the solution is easy, but because it isn’t nearly as complex as we often perceive it to be. 2040 shows you it isn’t a quick fix which will cost billions, or something we are yet to invent.
Everything has been right in front of us all along. If we choose to work together and make an impact where we can, we will get to see 2040’s idyllic vision come to fruition.
To join the regeneration watch out for special nation – wide advanced screenings with a series of Q&A events. These events will be in capital cities and regional hubs where a range of experts and youth activists will discuss the film ahead of its theatrical release on Thursday 23 May. I can recommend this film for multi- ages. 2040 is the narrative the next generation needs to see, aspire to and to believe is possible.
Freelance writer, wife and mother of three sons, occasional supply teacher and aspiring romance author, Michelle Beesley can be most often found in a coffee shop chatting with friends or beside a rugby field cheering on her favourite teams.
Michelle is a prolific—albeit reluctant—traveller, keen walker, bookworm and yoga enthusiast who loves anything pink or sparkly (including champagne!).