Review of “This Changes Everything” Screening

Adela Torchia

Submitted Article

Tuesday, January 26 2016

Hosted by Save Our Shores and Sustainable Gabriola, islanders had two opportunities on January 16 to see the 2015 documentary “This Changes Everything” inspired by Naomi Klein’s book with the same title. The afternoon showing at Phoenix Auditorium filled to capacity and the evening showing was at least two-thirds full. 

Klein’s bestseller is a thorough and expansive tome, while the 1.5 hour movie gives a fascinating global overview of many places where people are resisting large industrial exploitation of land and water. Filmed in nine countries and five continents over four years, the movie’s website calls it “an epic attempt to re-imagine the vast challenge of climate change.” Individuals from seven communities on the front lines of such resistance explain the struggles they’re enduring. Unlike many other climate change films, this one presents as much positive focus as negative since it ultimately asks: “What if confronting the climate crisis is the best chance we’ll ever get to build a better world?” And indeed the movie reveals great transformational efforts to green energy.

Klein narrates the film in an almost child-like way as she allows others to tell their stories. As corporate greed and indifference intensifies ecological collapse in their regions, Klein points out that this is clearly rooted in the misguided story of domination. Human resilience and innovation in the face of battling such destructive forces is apparent. But compellingly vital to real change, for Klein, is that we change our centuries’ old story of domination to the truthful story that humanity is an integral part of nature – a story we’ve lost for a while. This changes everything! Changing our story, changes the future – simple as that. We live and act out of our stories. 

As one entered the auditorium, local environmental groups had provided informative displays, cookies and coffee were provided thanks to local business generosity, and Leah Hokanson added a wonderful touch of class with her piano selections to accompany an inspiring self-timed powerpoint that interspersed quotes from Naomi Klein with real life positive examples on Gabriola - all as gracious ways to enter the setting and view the documentary. 

It was a great event, rich in its variety of related issues and groups taking part. Heartfelt thanks to all who worked so hard to bring it to us!