By Anders Lorenzen
Three stories in three places around the world about battles fought by young activists.
These are the stories told in Dear Future Children, the feature debut of 22-year-old German filmmaker Franz Bohm.
The film follows three key battles, the ongoing battle for democracy in Hong Kong, the uprising and fight for justice in Chile and the fight for climate justice in Uganda.
With the latter story the one we are most interested in. We follow young climate activist Hilda Flavia Nakabuye who is the founder of Friday’s for Future in Uganda.
Fighting climate change in Uganda
While the other protest movements in the film centre around a big group of people, what is striking about Nakabuye’s story is that she on her own is trying to take up the battle of climate action. We follow her standing on polluted roads in city centres holding up placards calling for climate action in a country where most people might not understand that it is the burning of fossil fuels that are causing all the weather changes they have been experiencing. Where people are fighting hard to do whatever they can to put food on the table and can’t afford to think about the climate crisis even if they have heard about it. We see her speaking to her community and her family about why it is important to act on the climate crisis and as she travels to other communities trying to educate people about the need to take action.
As her actions gain international traction we also get a glimpse of the sacrifices she has to make due to the international recognition she receives. She is invited to events such as one in Copenhagen (which the film follows her attending) which means she has to spend more time away from home.
We have heard a lot about youth climate protests in countries where there are high levels of understanding about the climate crisis and where a large part of the public is behind them. What I found powerful about Nakabuye’s story is that she is literally starting from the bottom and have a fight on her hand in raising awareness of not only climate change but also localised pollution. The film powerfully shows that at times it all gets a bit much for her. But that does not deter her, she keeps on going – so strong is her passion for the issue. The speech she gave in Copenhagen would make any climate activist proud and it is well worth watching the film for that reason alone.
Dear Future Children is currently showing in selected cinemas across the UK, you can see listings here.