So seldom does a documentary move me to tears.
But that’s just what “2040,” the next in the River Action’s QC Environmental Film Series, did. What could have been a shocking, grim look at climate change is truthful, to be certain. But its message about creative solutions bursts into a beautiful message of hope at the end.
Director Damon Gameau gives the audience a glimpse of global effects of climate change over the next two decades and how they can be addressed.
Gameau wonders what the future will hold for his 4-year-old daughter Velvet. He calls his movie “an exercise in fact-based dreaming” as a letter to his daughter about Gameau’s travels to visit a variety of innovations that can bring the population together in solutions, for example, in which electricity is created through a shared grid and rooftop solar panels.
Probably the most remarkable is his trip to Bangladesh, where he sees how communities can create and trade energy.
In another enjoyable scenario, Gameau is a passenger in a self-driven vehicle – we can feel his trepidation as the steering wheel moves on its own to take him to his destination.
We also see him take a look at how regenerative agricultural can help with water retention and prevent greenhouse gas emissions.
He wonders what his daughter’s diet will be like in 20 years, and he foresees a future with a smaller dependence on animal proteins, instead consuming more plant-rich foods. Seaweed can be part of the food harvest in the future, he discovers.
It would be a spoiler to reveal the surprise solution toward the end. Suffice it to say it’s heartwarming, genuine, and uplifting – and this alone would make this beautiful film worth seeing.
Running time: One hour and 32 minutes.
The documentary “2040” will be presented at the Figge Art Museum, 225 W. 2nd St., Davenport at 2 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5. The Jewish Federation of the Quad Cities is a sponsor of the series, along with the Joyce and Tony Singh Family Foundation, Nahant Marsh and River Action.
Watch the trailer here.
For more information on the QC Environmental Film Series, call 563-322-2969 or visit RiverAction.org