Nathan Grossmann's collaboration on the documentary about the swedish soccer player Zlatan Ibrahimovic can only be discovered on imdb, the award for the short series Köttets Lustar (where he is joking about excessive meat consuption), which was showed in the swedish public- legal tv, can be found on the internet, but his own website or other profiles can´t be discovered. Nathan Grossmann himself did not expect that his film would be so massive and was going to make it to Venice, and neither did his protagonist, a 15 year old striking girl with pigtails think, that she would become a worldwide icone. He became the tip from a friendly screenplay writer and set off with his camera and a wireless microphone in front of the parlament in Stockholm, where the, at that time 15 year old Greta Thunberg stroke against the inactions from the politics in the theme climate change. „Skolstrejk for Klimatet“ was written on the sign, that Greta still caries around- the news were easily understandable even without language skills, meanwhile millions of students followed the appeal on the whole world. The Friday for Future movement developed from a lonely protest. Merely the corona pandemic made us focus on other things or rather stopped the Friday demonstrations oft he striking students, who skipped school classes, even in Austria, to attend them.
Grossmann carefully asked her in 2018, if it was okay if he wrapped a microphone around her and recorded her. The trust between Greta, her family and him developed itself so that he was allowed to be with them, even in more private moments, but the control of what he records remained by Greta always. Her biggest fear was, to not be able to recognize herself anymore. It surely was an exicting moment when the movie finished, all eyes were focused on Greta, who was now two years older and told everyone: Yes, I do recognize myself in that movie.
From a simple „Can I record you?“ in front of the parlament in Sweden, when almost nobody noticed the protest, emerged a one- year project. Grossmann explains, that he did everything by himself: camera, sound and the lightening, he attended almost every event, which wasn`t always easy, even then, when Greta crossed the atlantic with her father, and the intention to arrive climaequitable to New York to the UNO conference Grossmann came along. Neither Greta Thunberg nor her fahther knew what they were going to experience over sea, and no-one who was on that boot would want to experience this again.
The movie gives a small insight about the complications with the journey, the IMOCA- Racer (IMOCA stands for: International Monohull Open Class Association, a ship class for off- shore sailing regatta) Malizia has no comfort at all on board, no toilets, neither a kitchen or comfortable sitting places- as a sleeping place were used aluminium tubes covered with material, you always had to hold yourself, because in the normal operation the sailboat moves with 15 to 20 knots on the water. While sailing the body can’t relax, the impacts and the abrupt movements from the yacht aren’t foreseeable, the noises, that the boat makes are unbelievable. In addition to that the wind throws torrents of cold seawater over board, the 14 days on board surely were kind of tortur for the inexperienced passengers. The movie shows some shortcuts of the sailing journey.
With the knowledge of this 14 day tortur her, as agressive perceived speech is understandable. Thunberg should have started with high school this fall, she completed sucessfully the elemantary school, but she decides to take a timeout to travel to New York. In the movie she often talks about, how she should be at home and in school right now.
Which brings us to her Asperger syndrome, a light version of autism, which makes it hard to interact socially, but on the other hand it imparts the ability to focus extremly hard on one topic and Greta emphasizes, that she is not suffering from the Asperger’s, she just has it. And she speculates, if the world wouldn’t be a better place, if some politicans would have Asperger syndrom as well. Greta doesn’t seem like a psychologically disturbed teenager, how she is called by some politicans. On the contrary, the empty phrases of some of them are worse.
Fact is - everyone should watch this movie, but people who rejected the Swedish girl or weren’t really sure on what to think about her, leave the cinema with new and different point of views. The impression of a propaganda engine, who is guided by her parents is not conveyed in the movie, on the contrary. Greta means everything very seriously. As serious as she is about the climate change.
The Endorsement, as soon as the movie was finished and we walked outside with social distance, I thought to myself, we have to learn how to live with the corona virus. But if the prognoses concerning the climate change apply, it isn’t going to work out easily…