How To Change The World full movie review - Well Presented & Important Documentary
This well presented and important documentary focuses on the creation of the environmental group Greenpeace, in 1971, as well as its initial leader Canadian Bob Hunter, on whose writings the film is based, and who died in 2005.
Aboard a small fishing boat filled with activists, mostly from the Vancouver, British Columbia area, and headed for Amchitka Island, Alaska to protest a planned nuclear bomb test, the name Greenpeace was coined by Bill Darnell. The name would signify the unification of the peace and environmental movements at the time. Although eventually turned back by the U.S. Coast Guard, the voyage would garner essential publicity for the group.
Greenpeace would go on to focus on using dramatic, but non-violent actions, to draw the attention of the world to the decimation of the whale population by international whale hunters. The actual footage of the small but speedy Greenpeace Zodiac boats trying to interfere with a 9 vessel Russian whaling fleet, and the subsequent shooting of a harpoon just 15 feet above the protesters by the Russians is an amazing part of the movie. When the film of this occurrence would reach the global media, it would bring instant worldwide attention to the activists' cause, and the Greenpeace crew members were greeted as conquering heroes upon their return.
Greenpeace would begin to sprout numerous offshoot branches as a result, and would continue to be active in the "save the whales" cause, as well as other important environmental issues such as the annual Newfoundland seal hunt. As with many organizations, Greenpeace would eventually suffer form internal dissension, and Hunter, as well as other early leaders of the group such as Paul Watson and Patrick Moore would eventually leave the organization and go their separate ways. Greenpeace International would eventually emerge as the central coordinating body for the group.
All in all, I thought this documentary, directed by Jerry Rothwell, kept me engaged throughout with good pacing, and it presents an important part of history to the viewer. To note, the movie does contain some startling and graphic scenes of animal slaughter during the whale and seal hunts.