This is speculation, of course, but Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg probably wouldn't love the new Hulu original documentary about her from filmmaker Nathan Grossman.
See, in the film, we follow Thunberg from her earliest school strike days in Sweden, circa 2018, through international marches inspired by her activism and beyond. We watch her tear up across speeches to political cadres from countless countries. We follow her through some of her famous sailing sojourn from her homeland to New York City for the United Nations Climate Action Summit in 2019—the much-ballyhooed "How dare you?!" speech. And it is through these moments that we learn one very important fact: She dislikes lip service.
Over and over again she tells anyone who'll listen she's grown tired of their "beautiful words" and inaction, and though I Am Greta is an interesting enough look at the behind-the-scenes moments in her quest to address climate change, it very rarely gets into the actual nuts and bolts of what she's fighting toward. In other words, we're repeatedly told she's doing activism, we're just not told what, if anything, it's actually affecting—or how the movement fell in behind her so quickly.
Instead, we get insight into times wherein she felt exhausted or didn't want to eat. We see international footage of TV commentators attacking her for having Asperger's (which is admittedly disgusting of the talking heads) and learn about Twitter users who hate her guts. We observe train rides and obsessive speech-writing sessions; we watch Thunberg's parents try to support her; we see the masses take to the streets. But how did this happen? Outside of a brief mention that an Arnold Schwarzenegger retweet blew up the internet once, it's hard to say.
Some might argue I Am Greta is meant to be a portrait of Thunberg, to highlight a young person's journey—that there's a sea of documentaries about climate change available. This is true, but one can't help but wonder if Thunberg signed on to raise awareness for her cause or for herself. The former seems more likely, though it's highly doubtful anyone who isn't already onboard will see the film and be swayed. Honestly, there's not enough usable information in it, anyway.
+Thunberg's passion is infectious
-Ultimately unhelpful and lacking in info
I Am Greta
Directed by Grossman
Hulu, NR, 97 min.