The latest documentary by Dutch filmmaker Gwen Jansen is one that leaves the viewer exiting the theatre unusually optimistic about climate change.
The film chronicles how the sustainability movement in several cities in the Netherlands is getting louder, more powerful, and more extensive at a breakneck pace. An increasing number of citizens, artists, businesses, research institutions, and local governments are joining forces. They want to make their own living environments more sustainable and are no longer waiting on the slow decisions being made at the national level.
The Dutch cities of Amsterdam, Leeuwarden, Nijmegen, Rotterdam, and Utrecht serve as the backdrop for the film. We see how these cities become more and more sustainable by co creation between citizens, artists, businesses, research institutions, and local governments.
Filmmaker Jansen brought her camera along to these locations to document various “green tales”. Mainly to inspire other cities and people all over the world with these green tales.
We also meet people in the film who are not engaged (yet) with sustainable living and we get to know their reasons and feelings around the issue, including those of the filmmaker. Jansen: “I caught myself getting more and more pessimistic about everything I was reading on climate change. Especially when I looked at my own behaviour, which was not necessarily environmentally friendly. But what difference would I be able to make as an individual? I decided to explore the issue with my camera. During this journey, it became a lot clearer to me what was happening in the cities in the Netherlands. Each “green tale” was going a step further than the last. I realised that it definitely was not too late. And you can absolutely play an important role as an individual. You don’t even need to turn your whole life upside down to do it. The green citizens movement in our country is currently growing so quickly that businesses and the national government will ultimately have to back their words up with action. This film is a documentation of my own journey and the “green makeover” that my friends and I applied to our own lives. With this film, I hope to put a positive spin on saving our planet in an entertaining way.
In the opinion of professor of sustainability and transition expertise Jan Rotmans, it will happen the same way it did with smoking, “If you’re not living sustainably within the next 10-15 years, you’ll largely be seen as an outcast.”
Directors: Gwen Jansen
Producers: JansenJager, Beeldmakers