I missed this at Cinequest, and when it had a special showing at the SFFS screen. But now that it's well into its theatrical release, I finally found time for it. And it's pretty much worth the hype as a hero worship piece about Mohamed Nasheed, the President of the Maldives. Actually, after a coup d'etat, he's the former President of the Maldives. And if global warming continues, he may be the former President of the former nation of the Maldives. With it's highest point under 2 meters above sea level, climate change is an existential threat, and so Nasheed, shortly after taking office in the first democratic election in the Maldives history, became a crusader and champion of the international talks in Copenhagen in 2009. The details of those talks could easily have become very tedious, so the film is smart to not focus on the details as much as the process, the exhausting late nights, the bitter compromises, his 11th hour plea to continue working for a document, etc. At the end, it's easy to question whether he really accomplished anything (an agreement on goals, but nothing binding...) but it's impossible to doubt his effort.
To frame it, the story of the democratic revolution and the atrocities of the previous regime (supporters of whom are now back in power) make for a dramatic story in and of itself. And the cinematography is quite beautiful at times, making a powerful visual argument that The Maldives is a wonderful little spot on Earth worth saving.
Running Time: 101 minutes
My Total Minutes: 277,285