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‘Don’t Look Up’: Environmental Activists Review the Netflix Movie

‘Don’t Look Up’: Environmental Activists Review the Netflix Movie

‘Don’t Look Up’: Environmental Activists Review the Netflix Movie

If you’re a young lady, keep an eye outDo not look upJennifer Lawrence is a crazy person with a bag on her head. It’s discouraging. I’m going to get a bag over my head! says Manvi Bhalla. Bhallaa, a 24-year-old cofounder of Shake Up the EstablishmentA Canadian climate justice organization is part of a new generation under 25 environmental activists who will bear the brunt climate emergency. Bhalla was keen to see, as were many environmental activists. Don’t look upNetflix’s science fiction movie about astronomers who try to warn the public about a comet that threatens human civilization.

This movie is very powerful because they simplify the problem by using an analogy. It is easy to understand for people who aren’t passionate about climate change, says Bhalla. It allows people to see these parallels without forcing them. Polarization is a big part of climate change and the reason that it has been so difficult to take action. Bhalla also praised the movie for its ability to show how scientific phenomena such as climate change or an impending comet can be transformed into political lightning rods. For her, Don’t look upGlobal warming is a complex issue that can’t be easily visualized in the simple narrative of a comet hitting earth.

Gaia, a 19 year-old climate activist from the United Kingdom complimented the movie’s portrayal of climate change in the media. The media is so obsessed with creating content that they don’t have time to focus on a specific topic when they should. Gaia, who runs sustainable fashion Instagram, said, @ssustainably. Although the climate crisis is a major problem, it needs to be front and center, it is often muddled with other news. She was struck by how realistic the scientists were. Don’t look up News stories about celebrities musicians tend to overshadow them. She also praised the accurate depiction of news cycles’ emphasis on clicks and monetization as well as uplifting stories.

Image: Niko Tavernise / Netflix.

Kehkashan Basu (21-year-old founder of the website) says, “I think the fact people are more willing listen to celebrities and influencers than educated people whove done it.” Green Hope Foundation. Basu, an undergraduate in environmental studies at the University of Toronto, also reflected on the frustration felt by Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence), when she was confronted with doubts about the comet. She says the character’s outburst is very representative of the feelings of many people working on ground.

Global warming is a complex issue that can’t be easily visualized in the simple narrative of a comet hitting earth.

All three activists based outside the United States were asked about the film’s depiction of intersectionality. Where is the rest of the globe? What about all the countries in the world? They are so intelligent and have so many valuable contributions that they carry the burden of the climate emergency. There was no consideration of non-Western countries or perspectives. One clip showed an Indigenous person. This was despite their many contributions to land stewardship over the years. Excluding other countries was a major omission for her. Bhalla is currently researching how to include Indigenous, racialized, and gender diverse people in environmental decision making at the University of British Columbia. Her research revealed that the climate crisis is disproportionately affecting marginalized populations. She would like to see more stories about how climate change affects different groups.


Bhalla was very pleased with the portrayal of the age and gender dynamics between the scientists. It reminded me of Greta Thunberg’s portrayal of Jennifer Lawrence as the younger, more aggressive woman. Climate organizers have been vilified in this way, I know. She says they are often women and that she’s heard ageist and misogynistic comments when she spoke about the climate crisis. Leonardo Dicaprios character [Dr. Randall Mindy]Both he and she have the same opinion. He is fine if he controls his tone. He’s also an older man so reporters immediately sought him out for commentary.

Gaia also believed that movies centered on the US were disempowering. It’s easy to blame America. It is obvious that those in power are the most equipped to make positive changes. She says that it can feel like a problem for them and make us think we don’t have the same responsibility since we arent there. She also criticizes America’s image as the ultimate world saver. She believes that the U.S. and other western countries have a lot of lessons to learn from countries that live in a more sustainable environment.

In the movie, I felt that the only source for power that could act was the government, specifically the US government. Basu says this is a huge global problem that is ongoing. Change is not limited to one Western government. My research on feminist climate justice reveals that the effects of climate change are different in different parts. This is especially true for vulnerable communities, women and women of colour, as well as small island countries. Civil society, the private sector, governments, and humans can do a lot.

Dont Look Up 2 We Asked Environmental Activists Their Thoughts on Dont Look Up & Heres What They Said

Image: Niko Tavernise / Netflix.

Basu has been working in the field for the past 15 years. Basu has witnessed firsthand the power of taking action to combat climate change. Our organization has helped many communities that are severely affected by climate changes. She explains that we have provided climate literacy education and installed solar infrastructure. She wrote a book called “The Solar Infrastructure” when she was eleven years old. The Tree of HopeThis story tells how a group made their village a green oasis by transforming it into one. Basu strongly believes everyone is responsible for solving this crisis and not just the US government.

All three climate activists emphasized the importance to move beyond the doom-and gloom approach taken by the film. If I had to make a movie, I would place climate futures at the center and emphasize climate dreaming. Bhalla says that she would like to explore the kind of world we desire. Her organization is already working to create a documentary on land conservation and Indigenous voices in Ontario. This is crucial because I believe that many of the problems associated to climate change are root causes linked to capitalism, which is a Western concept. She explains her intersectional approach to this issue. There may be solutions that we don’t have the time to find because they lack the power and privileges associated with major Western platforms.


Gaia also stresses that a global approach is essential to solving the climate crisis. I would like to make a documentary that interviews different types of people from around the globe. She says it is important to show Westerners who are living in their bubbles, the people who are already feeling climate change’s effects.

Basu, true to her organization’s name, Green Hope Foundation, wants to give people hope. My work aims to show people that it is possible for everyone to create a sustainable and green future. She says that while it may take some time, everyone should benefit. Both systemic and individual actions are necessary. I don’t want people to feel guilty, but I want to offer hope and a positive outlook so that they can take action.

Don’t look upIt is available to stream on Netflix

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