Climate Migration: A film idea

Wednesday, 26th August 2009 at 8:00 UTC 1 comment

As I was out cycling recently, I began to wonder about the kinds of Climate Change films being made, and it occurred to me that one area there has been almost work on so far is climate change migration, the idea of people moving away from the equators in search of a liveable environment could make a pretty epic film. The main twist I’d like to see in it: I think it should be about a family from Britain struggling to migrate into overpopulated Norway.

There has always been a category of activist film that has never failed to fascinate. Despite the utter cheesiness, films like Threads still get shown, and people still remember the TV broadcast of the “documentary” about a nuclear bomb hitting Sheffield a few decades ago when the prospect was actually real. Such films are probably actually easier to make now, with all the developments in special effects, and yet, with all the caution people are showing to overblowing the Climate Crises, nothing like it has yet been produced.

True, the Age of Stupid does a pretty good job, but in some ways the point is what’s going on here and now, not what life is like in 2055. What about a film that’s entirely focused on the 2050’s as Climate Science is predicting them? How about something that takes a family from Britain who can be portrayed as pretty average, and pits them against everyone else in Europe on the long slog north to the Arctic Rim, showing the kind of problems that might befall them.

We could even have the encounters with people from Africa trying to hide away in Northern Europe, the collapse of what little UN and Red Cross Refugee infrastructure might even been attempted, the treks over parts of Norway that have already been ravaged by fires and the cities that have already been abandoned. I wonder how people would feel watching it.

We’ve already had films like the 11th hour and 28 days later, and they’ve done pretty well, so I doubt film financiers would have a problem backing it, and the serious activist film (OK, and the silly activist film if we count Yes Men Fix the World!) are really taking off right now.

Perhaps its because the Climate Movement is a bit worried about the impact of having to move north ourselves. We want to think about Climate Migration as Africa swamping us, rather than us swamping Norway, Sweden, Finland, Canada and Russia. Oh yeah, and that could be an interesting twist to the plot, baring in mind many of the “it could happen to you” films of old have relied on the Russians as the cause of the chaos rather than the solution.

So, would any of you go and watch that film if it got made? Any chance that when it inevitably does appear, I can sue whoever made it for a ferry ticket to Norway? Oh, I forgot… they cancelled the Newcastle to Bergen ferry two summers ago. Crap. Now how will I escape?

Its easy to see films like this as too unsettling or too easily dismissed, but in the rush to only make nice happy films about the realities of Climate Change, perhaps we’ve missed the fact that, once in a while, you need a good old apocalypse to focus peoples minds on solving a crises.

Entry filed under: Activism, Climate Change, Culture, Education, Immigration, Media, Travel.

Finding Momentum, Finding Vision Discovering England

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. misterbunbury  |  Wednesday, 26th August 2009 at 10:37 UTC

    I like it! What a pity I don’t have the cash to hire Steven Spielberg.


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