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The producers gave this documentary film the tag line, "Can this Man Save the World ". In the Indian Ocean there are a series of small islands called the Maldives with a population of about 400,000. It is the lowest lying country in the world with literally no hills. There are some large building on at least one of the islands but the main industry is tourism with beautiful beaches and high-end hotels. Since 1978 the country had been under the iron rule of President Maaumoon Abdul Gayoom who was able to harshly suppress any opposition to his ruling party. One of the leaders of the opposition was Mohamed Nasheed who was thrown into jail and spent 18 months in solitary confinement. Eventually a new constitution was established in 2008 which allowed the country's first multi-party presidential election which elected Mohamed Nasheed as President. This documentary is about this man and how he became a world wide symbol for environmental reform. Nasheed made it his mission to make the world aware of how his country is seriously threatened with extinction if global warming continues and if the water line rises another three feet, which it is on track to do. He made the case that eventually much of the world, even New York City will be threatened by the rising water which comes with carbon emissions and global warming. Despite opposition by developing countries such as China which feels it needs to use fossil fuels to continue its growth, Nasheed carried on an amazing, almost one man, campaign at the all important 2010 Copenhagen World Wide Environmental Conference attended by important representatives from most of the world nations including Secretary of State Hilary Clinton . This film used a very creative and effective approach by following this passionate, very likable sincere man who pleaded individually and at the plenary sessions to save his country and save the world. In the end, while he couldn't get full agreement on the exact number to which carbon emissions should be reduced over a period of time, he got members of this conference for the first time sign a document agreeing to reductions . The emotion of this accomplishment was quite palpable as the viewers felt close to this remarkable man as we followed him throughout his non-stop activities with a musical backdrop effectively provided by 14 songs from Radiohead and some other music by Stars of the Lid. The film was directed and photographed by Jon Shenk and Samuel Goldwyn Films picked it up for distribution. You come away from this movie quite informed and feeling good. It is scheduled for release at the end of March and President Mohamed Nasheed was supposed to help promote this movie in the US and elsewhere which would allow him continue to crusade for the environment. Unfortunately, a month before the scheduled release there was a coup d'edat in the Maldives and Nasheed was forced to resign and was thrown in jail again. The situation there is evolving and the " end cards " for the film are constantly being revised as the political situation changes day by day. FilmRap.com
The Documentary was very well directed and presented. It portrays the
important events that took place in Mohamed Nasheed's life as a child
and as a politician, and his 'sudden' movement towards environment. It
would made us think the how vulnerable the Maldivian life actually is!
The Island President is hardly a PowerPoint presentation on the subject of environmental responsibility. That's already been done well enough. Instead, This Documentary tackles the message from a compelling human- interest angle -- by focusing on the messenger.
It was far more entertaining and less didactic than An Inconvenient Truth, with beautiful scenery of Indian Ocean captured with bird-view camera angles both in stills and amazing time-lapses.
A must watch for all environment lovers.
Okay. Let me just tell you something about Mohamed Nasheed's presidency
as voiced by an actual Maldivian.
I don't know who this user Princess Lamha Fathina is, or where she got her information about how the people of Maldives ousted him out of his post.
But just to set the record straight, from someone who was actually there when the whole thing took place; President Nasheed was forced to step down from his post because of a bloody coup!
The police force of Maldives turned against him at the behest of another political figure who was rumored to be bribing them and they were the ones who brutalized civilians in order to make this happen. There are several videos of it on you-tube for god's sake!
And I saw it happen with my own eyes!
He was the first democratic president of Maldives and the youth and anyone who wasn't brainwashed by the former dictator of Maldives (who corrupted the country for a good forty years) loved him.
Be it, he made a few blunders during his run, but he was the first one to opt for a revolution. And one of his first priorities was the fragile environment of Maldives.
This movie highlights the good he has done and it is definitely not in any way a misrepresentation of what he was doing.
Oh, and thank you Princess Lamha Fathina for differentiating us little Asian people from you "westerners". But please, the next time you take a stand for something; at least get your facts right.
I don't make any comments about George W. Bush or President Obama even though I hear thousands of rumors; you know why? Because I wasn't actually there or know anything PERSONALLY.
To anyone who's thinking of watching this movie; please do!
It is not only inspiring to Maldivians themselves but also tells people of how delicate this beautiful place actually is.
And all this has been captured wonderfully in this documentary. :)
I just saw this movie on a plane, was deeply moved and impressed by it,
and I had to respond to one IMDb user's review.
User darren-511's pathetic one-star review above claims that "All Islands are at Sea Level" and that The Island President overlooked this glaring error.
Here's a basic geography lesson.
Sea level means the measurement of the average height of the ocean's surface. In the Maldives, the highest point on land is only 2.4 meters above sea level, or above the height of the water. This means on these very low, flat islands, there is no high ground whatsoever to seek refuge on if sea level rise or a tsunami occurs. Where on earth do you get the notion that "All Islands are at sea level?!" Haven't you ever seen an island with a mountain on it, like the Haleakala or Mauna Loa volcanoes in Hawaii? The Maldives are seriously in danger of being wiped out by climate change and I don't want to let your serious ignorance of basic science have any opportunity to steer viewers away from this great film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Upon viewing this film, I learned that the Maldives is a country
consisting of 2,000 low-lying islands, right in the middle of the
Indian Ocean. It apparently has the lowest high point of any country in
This compelling and important documentary, directed by Jon Shenk, centers on the remarkable efforts of the former President Mohamed "Anni" Nasheed to save his country from what he believed to be the great peril of rising temperatures and sea levels, caused by global warming.
Nasheed's story itself is amazing. Under the 30 year dictatorship of Maumoon Abdul Gayoon, Nasheed was arrested 12 times for political activism, tortured twice, and thrown into solitary confinement, in a small box, for 18 months. In April of 2005, he returned to the Maldives after his self-exile and somehow managed to oust Gayoon in an election in 2008.
From that point on, he tried to bring world attention to his country, citing that it could be destroyed by rising sea levels. He cited serious erosion of the beaches, fresh water contamination by the sea, serious fish depletion, and the increased risk of natural disasters, such as the tsunami of 2004 that reduced the GDP in the Maldives by 50%.
Leading up to the Copenhagen Climate Summit, of 2009, he traveled to speak to the British Parliament, the UN General Assembly, and any other meeting with world leaders he could schedule. I thought the documentary was particularly effective in giving the viewer a behind-the-scenes look at the negotiations that went on not only with world leaders but with his own advisers and Cabinet.
Nasheed developed a reputation as being a driving force to have world leaders agree to a cut in CO2 emissions. Some were calling him the new Global President. To me he came across as driven, motivated, sometimes sarcastic, and a little naive.
When he reached the Copenhagen Summit, where 192 countries were represented, he quickly realized that some of the major world powers, especially China were strongly opposed to any monitored CO2 emission reductions. They felt, as a new industrialized power, they would hurt their economy substantially by doing this. It was interesting to me to see the last minute wrangling at the Summit to get some type of agreement, by the political power brokers.
A note at the end of the movie, indicated that in 2012 security forces forced Nasheed to resign. Looking at various new reports it now seems to be a muddled picture politically in the Maldives.
Overall, I learned quite a bit from the film and felt the way it was presented was quite engrossing.
I seriously don't get why this documentary scores this low on IMDb. But
then again, I've seen weirder ratings on here. Good, to get to the
Some call this docu a propaganda film for environmentalists, or for the "island president" himself. Fair enough. But is that necessarily a 'bad' thing? In my opinion, this docu gives a great insight in the complexities (and, perhaps, to an extent the impossibilities) of global governance of environmental issues. I do not think this docu actually leaves you with a positive feeling on how to tackle environmental problems, if ever. Nevertheless, it does provide you a very compelling story of a man who tries to make a difference, though be it a tiny, tiny difference. The island president's role is comparable to that of little David trying to fight gigantic, grotesque Goliath.
A very compelling docu that, I think, you should have seen if you're interested in high-level politics.
This is movie is a PR effort helping him to win Nobel Peace Prize. He
was ousted by his own people in 3 years like Hosni Mubarak and Gazzafi.
His total presidency was a drama filled lies and lies. I am sure we westerners are more civilized than a third world countries.
I doubt any ethical person will buy a ticket for this movie when this movie was funded secretly from tax payers money. Maldives is a very small country with limited resources and its ousted president want to become a Hollywood celebrity. I see no difference than the Saudi Royal Family and Him.
No offense to his loyal supporters.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'm giving this film a 2 because of the cinematography, otherwise I
would look for something below 1. Had the director chosen to make a
film about a man gone made then that might have been interesting but
this dribble is just another propaganda film for the environmental
What cracks me up is the scary acknowledgment that the main island has lost 5 meters of beach front and that Manhattan Island is also at the same depth. Here's an inconvenient truth for you- ALL ISLANDS ARE AT SEA LEVEL! Here's another painful fact that might present an obstacle to thinking people; sometimes beaches erode because of waves and their lack of protection from the elements. Sometimes the plates of the earth sift and islands sink and sometimes volcanoes erupt under the sea and islands rise.
I love the passion of President Nasheed but it's passion misplaced. Passion for passion sake is not admirable, maybe for a kid but not a grown man. I'm done with these types of propaganda films and you should be too.
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