Issue 70

 

Students on Strike and Woman at War…for Climate Justice

Where does one turn when the corporate oligarchy that rules the world with an iron fist, rapes Mother Earth with abandon, puts profits before the well being of the planet, and refuses to heed the scientific community’s unanimous warnings on the apocalyptic consequences in store if we don’t reverse course immediately? What does one do when those in power willfully and knowingly refuse to accept the handwriting on the wall that spells out the destructive impacts on climate change our insatiable dependence on fossil fuel have wrought …impacts that are visible today but are merely the tip of the (melting) iceberg? What kind of world are we leaving our children, grandchildren, and future generations?

greta-thunberg

High school activist for climate justice, Greta Thunberg

Due in large part to the efforts of Swedish high school student, Greta Thunberg, who has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, students the world over began to answer these questions by walking out of class this week to strike for immediate action to reverse climate change.

They are mad as hell and aren’t going to take it anymore!

On this issue, gun violence, and the madman who occupies the White House, the youth of the world are shouting out and putting their words into political action in a manner we haven’t seen since the late 60s. This senior citizen, who once walked in their shoes, couldn’t be more pleased.

This timely message of resistance is also the theme of the recently released cinematic fable, Woman at War by Icelandic director Benedikt Erlingsson. The movie opens with a thrilling scene in which Halla (Haldora Geirharosdottir), a reserved choir director, commits a daring and dangerous act of eco-guerrilla warfare. Her action is aimed at the fossil fuel guzzling smelting industry that is planning, with a huge capital investment from China, a large expansion.

Part thriller, part comedy, the film is well crafted. It’s multidimensional characters, including Halla, her twin sister and yoga teacher/spiritualist Asa (also played by Geirharosdottir), and their “alleged” cousin Sveinbjorn (Johann Sigurdarson) each experience transformative growth in response to what is happening around them and to them.

The cinematography of the beautiful Icelandic countryside is awe-inspiring and the musical score is so integrated it plays an Oscar-worthy supporting role. In fact, Erlingsson breaks the fourth wall with two musical trios: a traveling band of keyboard, sousaphone and drums that seems to appear out of nowhere to enhance the mood or provide comic relief and a group of Ukrainian folksingers who flesh out the side plot related to Halla’s attempts to adopt a Ukrainian orphan.

Halla transitions from every woman to Eco Wonder Woman to battle the forces of evil with ease but her super powers are limited to what she can cram into her rucksack, including a cordless rechargeable grinder, collapsible bow and arrow, and plastic explosives. Her exploits have the desired effect and have the whole country talking. Unfortunately, her actions alone are no match for the sophisticated propaganda campaign coordinated by corporate and government forces and Halla counters with an ingenious way to communicate her mission. She becomes the target of a high-tech government search aided by the CIA and Israel’s Mossad and is eventually snared and imprisoned. But like any good thriller, there are still more plot twists and action to keep you on the edge of your seat.

Woman at War is at its core, a fable in which the characters and their actions are exaggerated and not to be taken literally. But it’s take-home message is a somber warning that’s as real as it gets. The clock is ticking and we have only a brief window in which to act in order to reverse anthropogenic climate change and it’s disastrous consequences.


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Published on March 16, 2019 at 10:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

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