This Changes Everything – Director – Avi Lewis

We were lucky enough to be the first audience to see this film. It is based on Naomi Klein’s most recent book about the relationship between climate change and capitalism and is I think her best book in a large opus. The film is directed by her husband Avi Lewis – son of Stephen Lewis and with a long NDP heritage. The movie is different from the book in that rather than focus on political analysis it instead focusses on communities that have been affected by pollution, climate change or corporate nastiness of one kind or another. The film moves from first nations struggles in Canada to save their lands to similar situations in Greece, the US Midwest, India and Germany. It was important in my mind to move from our tendency to use first nation struggles as the lever on this issue and realize that their struggle is really no different from that of people all over the world. Very effective.

At the end of the film we were lucky to have several of the people from those communities present to tell us where their stories have developed. It was a very friendly audience as would be expected and they got a standing ovation for the film and for being who they are. Interestingly the introduction was introduced by 2 vegan activists who held up signs and urged us to stop eating animals in order to save the world. They have a point although I confess I did eat a nice filet mignon that evening. The protestors were ushered off politely amid scattered boos from the audience. It was somewhat hypocritical of the audience however as this crowd would likely have cheered similar protests at a Harper rally but that aside it was a pretty friendly event.

The movie is excellent and everyone who sees climate change as our biggest challenge as a species needs to see it and get on board. The film is hopeful that we will get our act together in time to save ourselves but that is still debatable unless something happens soon. This December there is world conference on climate change that will make or break us I fear. Avi let lose a great Freudian slip at the end. He told us that we need to push our political leaders to make meaningful change at the climate conference which will be held “at the end of the world”. Got lots of laughs before he realized what he had said and cried out “end of the year! End of the year!!

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