I Am Greta Parent Guide
This movie's complex subject deserves a more interesting film.
Parent Movie Review
“The climate is the defining issue of our time. What we do now, future generations cannot change. We’re about to reach a tipping point where we can’t go back. No one is doing anything. So I must do what I can.”
So says Greta Thunberg, the internationally acclaimed Swedish climate activist. The teenager has proven to be a polarizing figure, with environmentalists seeing her as a prophetic voice and skeptics deriding her as either a mentally ill doomsayer or a fragile child manipulated by her parents. The story as told in I Am Greta is considerably more complicated.
Greta’s environmental journey begins at school with a climate change documentary that plunges her into a spiral of depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. The movie opens with a recovering Greta’s first foray into public advocacy – encouraging students to go on strike for the sake of the climate. When questioned about the cost to her schooling, Greta’s response is simple and bleak: “Why would I need an education if there is no future?”
As Greta’s school strike gains momentum, she is asked to speak at the UN Climate Change Conference in Poland, followed by further global appearances Through it all, Greta retains the sense of despairing determination that fueled her initial involvement in the movement.
Greta herself remains a perplexing figure. She is clearly committed to her cause, making sacrifices both small and large for the sake of the environment. The cost of that commitment is very apparent when she travels to New York on a tiny sailboat that renders her sick and miserable. That self-sacrificing dedication is visible throughout the entire film. Greta has Asperger’s syndrome and craves silence and stable routines – all of which she gives up in pursuit of her mission.
The real disappointment is that I Am Greta doesn’t do its complex subject justice. The documentary feels like a travelogue interspersed with quotes from the youthful activist. The movie would benefit from an exploration of the issue that animates her, providing context for her words and her passion. A deeper discussion of her Asperger’s syndrome would also offer a more illuminating picture of how Greta deals with an issue that causes her such existential terror. Sadly, the film is often painfully dull and feels far longer than its 97 minute runtime. The only thing that kept me from playing games on my phone during the show is that most of the dialogue is in Swedish and you can’t play games and read subtitles at the same time.
Although Greta’s global activism has garnered lots of attention, only time will tell if it has been successful. She has raised the issue of climate change and rebuked political leaders for failing to act. But the big question for moviegoers isn’t what politicians are willing to do but what each viewer is willing to do. What do we believe in and how much are we willing to work and sacrifice for those beliefs?Directed by Nathan Grossman. Starring Greta Thunberg, Anotnio Guterres, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Running time: 97 minutes. Theatrical release September 24, 2020. Updated April 20, 2021
Watch the trailer for I Am Greta
I Am Greta
Rating & Content Info
Why is I Am Greta rated Not Rated? I Am Greta is rated Not Rated by the MPAA
Violence: Multiple scenes of fires. Death threats are mentioned. Discussion of potentially dangerous situations and providing first aid for bullet wounds and other medical crises.
Sexual Content: None noted
Profanity: There are approximately one dozen swear words in the film, mostly mild profanities. There are two scatological curses and a term of deity. There might be a muffled sexual expletive. A child is called derogatory names by media figures.
Alcohol / Drug Use: None noted
Page last updated April 20, 2021
I Am Greta Parents' Guide
Humanity sees nature as a bottomless bag of candy. That we can just take as much as we want.
I want you to panic. I want you to act as if the house is on fire.
We are facing an existential threat and there is no time to continue down this road of madness… And since our leaders are behaving like children we will have to take the responsibility they should have taken long ago.
Do you agree with Greta’s assessment of the state of the earth’s environment?
You can listen to Greta’s TED talk here.
Greta Thunberg’s advocacy has stirred up hate as well as acclaim. Why do you think people have reacted to her the way they have?
Harper’s Bazaar: These Anti-Greta Thunberg Criticisms are Almost Hilarious
Rolling Stone: Greta’s World
Vanity Fair: How Great Thunberg Brushes Off Her Haters
The Atlantic: Why Great Makes Adults Uncomfortable
National Review: Don’t Listen to Greta Thunberg
The New York Times: The Problem With Greta Thunberg’s Climate Activism
What do you think you can do to improve the health of the environment?
Curbed: 101 Ways to Fight Climate Change
National Geographic: Greta wasn’t the first to demand climate action. Meet more young activists.
Loved this movie? Try these books…
Greta Thunberg’s speeches have been collected in No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference.
Greta and her family tell their story in Our House Is on Fire: Scenes of a Family and a Planet in Crisis.
Michael Part has written a biography of Greta geared for tween and teen readers. It’s entitled The Greta Thunberg Story: Being Different is a Superpower.
Children with an interest in environmental activism can read Zoe Tucker’s Greta and the Giants. Also available for young readers is Jeanette Winters’ Our House Is on Fire: Greta Thunberg’s Call to Save the Planet. Valentina Giannella has also written a guide to climate change and activism for young readers with We Are All Greta.
The most recent home video release of I Am Greta movie is November 13, 2020. Here are some details…
Related home video titles:
An Inconvenient Truth is the first mainstream documentary to tackle the issue of man-made global climate change.
Pixar’s Wall-E sets its tale in a dystopic Earth, destroyed by an ecological catastrophe. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax also sets a cautionary tale in a fictional world where Truffula trees have been over-harvested to the point of extinction. Humans have been driven underground for centuries in City of Ember but now two kids are finding their way to the surface.
A thousand years after a toxin has destroyed industrial civilization, a young princess must save the world in Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. Another anime film to tackle environmental issues is Weathering With You.
In Interstellar, the planet is so environmentally fragile that humans travel into space in search of new planetary homes..