Everyday Activist - 2040 (CIFF 2019)

Posted on Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 12:00 PM

2040 (CIFF 2019)

Movie Review by Everyday Activist X CalgaryMovies.com

I felt nostalgic reading the description for 2040 as it was made by Damon Gameau who also made, That Sugar Film, my first article on CalgaryMovies.com. As a social justice advocate, 2040 doesn’t say anything new nor points out potential problems of the technologies provided to solve the greenhouse gas issue. The lack of a balanced argument gives it the Earth Day gloss, but nothing substantial to differentiate this documentary from the scores of other environmental films. For classrooms and the Generation Next series at the Calgary International Film Festival, it thematically fits. Children can relate to their peers around the world who have similar concerns about their role to create healthier habits.

Unlike most environmental films, Gameau discusses education of women and girls as a solution to the planet’s degradation. I understood his argument as education leads to women having children later and fewer of them. My problem with this “population control logic” is educated women also have the resources to use reproductive technologies often giving birth to multiple babies at once. Feels like a zero sum game, though many couples choose to only have one child, because quality formal education costs keep rising even though technology makes it more accessible.

People often think places like Bangladesh are backwards, but don’t fully understand the challenge of managing 10 million people in the space of about one of the Atlantic provinces. Yet, women politically have more equality in government leadership positions there in contrast to Canada. 2040 discusses solar panel networks in Bangladesh where individuals buy and sell solar energy to each other using computerized system. The solar panel solution might work in Alberta if the government hadn’t canceled programs to support them. Rarely does anyone talk about the toxicity of making solar cells with semi-conductors such as Gallium-Arsenide or the implications of needing fossil fuels to make the clean energy transition.

Children have more awareness into environmental issues than in previous generations. Gameau profiles schools that have programs to further develop how students understand their local environment using metrics displayed on a computerized dashboard. When I made dinner for a friend, her teenage daughter applauded my efforts at transferring the hot pasta water into the sauce that I made rather than heating more water. The recent cuts to education in Alberta are a bit scary, though maybe we need a new model for education, such as Khan Academy, where the lessons are already planned and delivered easing the teaching burden or Sugata Mitra’s model where children learn from each other. 

2040 will play at the 20th Calgary International Film Festival 2019 on September 20th, 2019 at 4:00 pm and September 22nd, 2019 at 5:00 pm as well as part of the Generation Next Series of films targeted to schools, where ten high school students chose six films to screen that they feel speak to their generation. Other films in this series include A Colony, Standing On the Line, Land of Glass, Butterfly and The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open. Interestingly, Standing On the Line has themes and panel expert, Anastasia Bucsis, connected to the University of Calgary’s presentation Building Healthy Gender Identities in Sport. 

Calgary Showtimes: 2040 >


NOTE: The showtimes listed on CalgaryMovies.com come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to CalgaryMovies.com.