Jon Shenk’s The Island President tells the story of President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives, a man confronting a problem greater than any other world leader has ever faced—the literal survival of his country and everyone in it.
Jon Shenk’s The Island President tells the story of President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives, a man confronting a problem greater than any other world leader has ever faced—the literal survival of his country and everyone in it. After bringing democracy to the Maldives after thirty years of despotic rule, Nasheed is now faced with an even greater challenge: as one of the most low-lying countries in the world, a rise of three feet in sea level would submerge the 1200 islands of the Maldives enough to make them uninhabitable.
The Island President captures Nasheed’s first year of office, culminating in his trip to the Copenhagen Climate Summit in 2009, where the film provides a rare glimpse of the political horse-trading that goes on at such a top-level global assembly. Nasheed is unusually candid about revealing his strategies—leveraging the Maldives’ underdog position as a tiny country, harnessing the power of media, and overcoming deadlocks through an appeal to unity with other developing nations. When hope fades for a written accord to be signed, Nasheed makes a stirring speech which salvages an agreement. Despite the modest size of his country, Mohamed Nasheed has become one of the leading international voices for urgent action on climate change.
- "Shenk employs the sounds of Radiohead to wistful effect as his camera sweeps high over a paradise that genuinely looks like it’s on its last legs" Time Out –
- "Ex-Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed comes across in this documentary as a kind of climate-change Prospero" The Guardian –
- "A fascinating insight into the disparity between rich and poor, and powerful nations and their less muscle-flexing neighbours." Empire Magazine –
- "Nasheed may be a small fish in a big geopolitical pond, but his enterprise and optimism are a welcome complement to eco doc doom and gloom." Total Film –
- "Ddid everyone start praying too late? Absorbing. Alerting." The Financial Times –
The Island President Interview — Don't Panic
All posts about this release from the dogwoof blog
May 10th, 2012
Get yourself to Sheffield this June to see some of our best documentary films
March 27th, 2012
Picturehouses across the UK and Ireland will have a not to be missed screening