“This film has achieved what all films, especially documentaries, should strive to achieve: it gives time to movements and stories that otherwise may have been reduced to a headline”
Franz Böhm spearheaded this blindingly relevant documentary as its director, but as he later said in a Q&A following this screening, this film is shared. It is no more his than it is that of the hundreds of people who worked on it. Thankfully, this impression is conveyed throughout Dear Future Children, and makes the viewing experience all the richer for it.
Following protagonists Rayan, Pepper, and Hilda, this documentary gives space to what we’ve seen splashed across newspaper headlines and embedded throughout social media: the globalised movement for activism and change. This is highlighted in the choice to follow three young individuals, all hundreds of miles apart in both subject and distance, but each joined together by their shared drive to make a difference through their participation in an organised protest movement.
Rayan (pictured above) is an activist who is protesting against the Chilean government’s refusal to acknowledge the importance of the working class, emanating in violent clashes with government led forces that have resulted in thousands of injuries and many deaths.
Pepper (pictured above) is an activist who is protesting against China’s presence in Hong Kong, including the extradition bill, which would allow China to extradite ‘criminal suspects’ to mainland China. This is considered a huge infringement on the pro-democracy nation’s rights and has led to violent clashes with government forces and protesters as well as many arrests, which leave individuals completely cut off from the outside in what are considered inhumane conditions.
Hilda (pictured above) is a climate activist who is fighting against the tides of climate change on the front line in Uganda, as her community is wreaked by the effects of global warming.
All of the protagonists are under the age of 25. All of the heads of department who worked on the film are under the age of 30. All of them are passionate, powerful in their determination to cause change, and incredibly inspirational. This film has achieved what all films, especially documentaries, should strive to achieve: it gives time to movements and stories that otherwise may have been reduced to a headline. This in turn allows us as an audience to live in these spaces for a period of time, breeding a sense of lasting empathy.
Böhm insisted that each movement get to tell their story on screen, and this effort is justly felt. Each narration is heartfelt, poignant and representative of people that have worked closely in collaboration to create this film. As it won the audience award at Hot Docs, it has rightly qualified for the Academy Awards Shortlist. Böhm and all those who worked with him on this film embody an incredibly exciting new wave of filmmakers making a bold entry into the world. Ones who recognise that there is undeniable power in collaboration. Ones who are focused on telling the story authentically and representatively, rather than being obsessed with ego and the need to own every frame.
More information can be found at the Dear Future Children website. There is a limited cinema release, but viewings/screening requests are welcomed by the filmmakers through their website.