Director Jerry Rothwell attended a solar powered British Science Week screening of his film How to Change the World in Bournemouth last week (Thursday 17th March). The documentary film charts the origins of the Greenpeace ecology organisation and has been winning awards globally for it’s portrayal of ‘twelve hippies in a boat’ that created environmental activism in the 1970s.
To their credit the media-savvy, ramshackle, and often-psychedelic crew of journalists, divers, sailors and ecologists recorded and documented their voyages and encounters on the ship Phyllis Cormack at ‘truth 24 frames per second’. Their mission was to create a ‘Mind Bomb’ an iconic image or moment that could go global within 24hours of the event happening. That’s the equivalent of going ‘viral’ in todays interconnected world.
The success of How To Change The World is being sustained by the modern environmental movement. A conduit or coming of age movie for environmentalism as it prepares to take on new challenges in the 21st century. The open-ended nature of the film acts a blueprint for newcomers – would be activists and a looking glass for the seasoned campaigner. The How to Change website features stories and articles from activists around the world and not just from Greenpeace.
From the very beginning this films stirs the blood, it resonates with iconic imagery and real-life ecological super heroes. These characters their personal differences, strength and weaknesses are laid bare. But all that’s insignificant in comparison to the pain and suffering of the natural world they seek to protect. All in a days work when it comes to pushing oneself to the limits to make change happen.
Eventually success gets the better of them. The Greenpeace organisation grows exponentially leaving the founding members behind. This is their story as it happened from the very start and Jerry Rothwell has handled the material incredibly well. The HD version of the film plays at 24 fps to preserve the integrity of the original film archive and is available to watch now on Netflix.