Combustible Celluloid
See the Film
With: Damon Gameau, Eva Lazzaro, Zoë Gameau
Written by: Damon Gameau
Directed by: Damon Gameau
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 92
Date: 06/05/2020

2040 (2020)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Future Perfect

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Here's a documentary about hope, and about looking forward. 2040, by Australian actor and director Damon Gameau (That Sugar Film), has a most simple premise. What ideas and technology that exist today can be implemented now to make a better world in 2040?

The answers are amazing. The first one involves an interconnected microgrid, in which a small group of houses can trade, buy, or sell solar power; it's clean, totally self-sustained, and independent of huge power companies.

The movie also likens car ownership to DVD and CD ownership; the future will be more "on-demand."

Other sections discuss more efficient farming that will stop soil erosion (which is more destructive to the atmosphere even than carbon emissions), and uses for seaweed!

While most documentaries on climate change are undeniably dreary, this one is poppy and delightful, with top-of-the-line, playful visual effects placing, say, Gameau and environmentalist Paul Hawken seated casually, hundreds of feet up, on top of a wind turbine.

2040 also offers glimpses into the future, wherein Gameau's young daughter grows up (played by Eva Lazzaro) and gets to live in an awesome new world that looks like a sci-fi movie.

"What were you guys thinking?" she sneers when she learns about the wasteful system we currently use to catch and clean fish.

What happens next in our real lives is unclear, but the movie at least leaves off with activist Helena Norberg-Hodge, who says "You will see, everywhere you look, incredible reasons for hope."

The movie will be available as a digital rental, and there will also be various accompanying live Q&As over the following week. See the official site for more information.

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