Hulu’s “I Am Greta:” There is no time to wait


Hannah Michelle Bussa

Greta’s school strike for climate has become a global movement to save the planet from the climate crisis. Photo courtesy of Unsplash.

Hulu has released the documentary “I Am Greta” in honor of Greta Thunberg, the teenage climate activist from Sweden. The film follows her from nearly the beginning of her Skolstrejk för Klimatet (School Strike for Climate) in front of Sweden’s Parliament.

Throughout the film, viewers get to see a bit of the world through the lens of a young girl trying to ensure its future.

From the outside of Sweden’s Parliament to meeting leaders worldwide, Greta remains consistent in her message: “I want you to panic. I want you to act as if your house is on fire.”

Greta consistently points to the realities of the climate crisis. She speaks on the science of erosion of topsoil, deforestation, air pollution, loss of wildlife, the acidification of the oceans and the reality of being in the midst of the sixth mass extinction.

For the most part, the film leaves out the intersections of race and the climate crisis. However, Greta does speak on the importance of all humans being involved.

“We are dependent on each other to survive,” Greta said.

Beyond the focus on the climate crisis, the film demonstrates the obstacles Greta faced in her direct action to build a global movement. As a young girl, the world’s leaders, many of which are men, did not take her seriously. Other leaders would allow her to speak, only to disregard the changes she demanded.

Her frustrations can be felt. After giving multiple speeches and not seeing any major change, she asked “Did you hear what I just said? Is my English okay? Is my microphone on? Because I’m beginning to wonder.”

Greta also faces ableism in response to her Asperger’s.

She responded: “Sometimes, I feel like it would be good if everyone had a bit more Asperger’s. At least when it comes to the climate.”

Greta’s determination is consistent throughout the film. From her vegan diet and commitment to not buying new clothes, to her insistence on never flying, it is clear she practices what she preaches.

This girl carrying the weight of the world and its future on her shoulders has to fight to be heard. However, the film also reminders viewers that she is just that – a girl. A girl who still has to argue with her dad over how often she should eat. A girl who misses her dogs when she is away from home. A girl with braids, determination and plans to save the world.

Humble as always, Greta does not focus the movement on herself.

“It’s okay if you refuse to listen to me…But you cannot ignore the scientists. Or the science. Or the millions of schoolchildren school striking for the right to a future,” she said.

“I Am Greta” is now available on Hulu.

Greta can be found on Instagram @gretathunberg. The international Fridays for Future movement can be found on Instagram @fridaysforfuture. The hashtags #FridaysForFuture and #ClimateStrike include additional information.