I am Greta, a committed documentary about an extraordinary activist

After having become in spite of herself the icon of the fight for the climate, Greta Thunberg is today the subject of a biographical documentary. I am Greta, in theaters on September 29, retraces the unexpected and heroic journey of this 15-year-old girl suffering from Asperger’s syndrome who, overnight, decides to start a school strike for the climate.

Put in touch with the young girl and her family by an acquaintance, the Swedish director Nathan Grossman, who had already participated in the making of a biographical documentary on the football player Zlatan Ibrahimovic, followed Greta Thunberg from the start of his protests. in front of the Swedish parliament, in 2018. From the Katowice conference on climate change (COP24), where she was invited in December 2018, to the United Nations summit on climate action, in New York, in August 2019, where she will travel by sailboat, the documentary highlights the emergence of this ecological figure, still under the benevolent wing of her father, Svante.

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A priesthood rightly brought to light

But beyond the joys and victories of Greta Thunberg, Nathan Grossman also shares his anger and his anxieties. Because the mission with which the adolescent feels invested quickly turns into a true priesthood. While the young girl struggles to repeat, with more and more vehemence, the same alarmist speeches, she realizes little by little their weak repercussions on the decision makers.

This is evidenced by a bewildering sequence at the European Commission, where Jean-Claude Juncker who, to respond to the activist’s call to act, begins to discuss the harmonization of flushing toilets at European level. “They all say, it’s great that you’re here, but they don’t do anything. I feel like everyone is playing a role and pretending.”, laments the teenager in the documentary.

Resolutely committed, the documentary risks however only preaching to the convinced. Because beyond retracing his various interventions, already highly publicized and therefore known to the public, I am Greta does nothing but sketch the portrait of the teenager. We will not learn much more about his childhood or his family, nor about his daily life with Asperger’s syndrome, which seems to have made his life difficult. What could her childhood have been like? Who is her father, so discreet in the film, who accompanies her wherever she goes? Who is his mother, almost invisible on the screen? Greta Thunberg emerges from this documentary just as mysterious as she was before. Pity.

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