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In 1971, a group of friends sail into a nuclear test zone, and their protest captures the world's imagination. Using never before seen archive that brings their extraordinary world to life, How To Change The World is the story of the pioneers who founded Greenpeace and defined the modern green movement.
STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning ** Sunday Night * Monday Morning
In the early 1970s, a group of activists, lead by the enigmatic Bob Hunter, got together and formed the Greenpeace movement, initially in response to President Nixon's testing of nuclear weapons on the island of Amchitka, but then interspersed with the opposition to whale poaching in the ocean, followed by the news of baby seal clubbing. The group formulated into a much larger organization, and conversely gained more discontent from the authorities, before internal fallout lead to each of them drifting their separate ways.
When you think of Greenpeace these days, it feels amalgamated with a bunch of other charities, of the type that those in town centres spring out and try to strong-arm you into signing up for. Being an environmentally themed charity, it lay the foundation for the term 'tree hugger' (which is even mentioned in the film!), used in a generally derogatory manner these days. But, in a time when it felt more rewarding to be in a group and try and do good for others rather than the self, this absorbing documentary highlights how these guys went about their endeavour.
Whatever your politics, you can't help but admire their tenacity, setting out as a group in their rickety little boat, risking life and limb to highlight the plight of those further down the food chain. They were a group of men (and women) sure of their convictions, with the idea, as the title implies, of changing the world, something that seems to have evaporated into apathy in this day and age.
Jerry Rothwell has tapped into a part of history that those with an interest in ecological matters and the environment could take some great things away from. ****
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