While a study this week revealed the concern shared by many young people around the world about their ecological future, I recently went to speak with three (young) directors whose approaches, different, tell their story. to live with this “overwhelming” information.
Sincere, sensitive, lucid, committed or curious to know what a future disrupted by the force of man has in store for them, Emmanuel Cappellin (38-year-old director), Arthur Gosset (24-year-old student) and Martin Boudot (journalist of ‘investigation, 35 years old) are currently sharing documentary films on screens that forcefully testify to the need to act and find concrete answers in a world where everything falters.
With Vert de Rage, Martin Boudot continues this evening on France 5 the second season of his environmental surveys around the world. Faithful to the approach he launched in 2019, the journalist this time goes to Morocco, Niger, Poland and France to scientifically assess the effects of local pollution (due to the production of fertilizers, uranium use or the effects of air pollution). Based on the observations he makes with the help of scientists, he sheds light on the daily lives of affected populations and, in this way, tries to help them organize themselves in the face of those responsible for these harmful effects with devastating health effects.
A follower of committed journalism that preserves the principles of contradiction while being independent and useful, the journalist wishes, with this type of reporting, to fuel the debate and spur change through the international media pressure he exerts. The one L’Obs presents this week as a “Zorro Ecolo” is above all a hard worker whose surveys, broadcast in ten different countries, are making the news even before being presented in his films.
In this second season, the globalized dimension of environmental damage is reflected even more clearly than in the first: from the use of phosphate fertilizers which generate water and air pollution in Morocco (with well-documented effects on the health of local populations, such as dental fluorosis from which children suffer) to the cadmium levels found in potato crops in France, we understand that silence is golden as long as the public is not aware.
“Being broadcast in Mexico, South America, South Africa, Asia, and Indonesia creates a kind of network of informants who understand our method and who share stories with us which, for some, , are at the origin of the investigations that we are carrying out – such as the one on uranium or coal that we followed for this second season “, explains Martin Boudot, surprised to receive so many reports:” I did not expect to receive as many, but it confirms to me that it is important to provide data that is useful and has made sense. Opinions are opposed, scientific facts serve “.
In fact, 80% of its surveys are based on work carried out hand in hand with scientists. “We do not want to keep the revelations for the dissemination of films”, insists the journalist, “the whole point is that our approach has an impact and that things move forward politically”. It is also a way of working on the narration of the films: “in this way, the scientific results feed certain sequences and prove that it is possible to move the lines”, confirms this heir of Cash Investigation (in 2016 his survey on the pesticides used in the Bordeaux vineyards caused a stir).
Obviously, we want to ask him how he experiences, personally, these observations that he makes on a daily basis to inform the greatest number of citizens? Martin, a young dad who at times does not escape his own projection skills (especially in the face of these children who are suffocating due to air pollution) says he is above all concerned about the safety of the people who stay behind: “My obsession is that they are protected, they are the ones who take the biggest risks” he notes while insisting on his need to keep a distance. “It is crucial to question militant words, to show that everything is not the fault of an industrialist. I always have an obsession with the contradictory in my mind, it helps me to keep distance and objectivity, not to sink too much into the emphatic emotion that is necessary but sometimes dangerous in an investigation “.
Inhabited by the requirement of nuance such as Camus could conceive it, Martin Boudot confides to have a lot of hope also: “I meet many people who act, and my duty is to have an irreproachable journalistic speech in front of lobbies which only seek to discredit us ”. So he is happy with one thing, above all: “my little egotistical victory, is to know that our investigations and our experiences are the object, then, of scientific publications” confides the director, satisfied to anchor thus its work in the long run.
But how do you live, once you know all that? That’s the whole point of the film directed by Emmanuel Cappellin. This director, who has worked with Yann Arthus Bertrand for a long time, delivers a very personal account, on the big screen, of the journey he has made since he understood the real content of the information provided by scientific reports and the media. As the following trailer effectively shows, it is at human height that he stands to share his thoughts:
This child at the end of the millennium opens the film with fond memories of children. : “My father told me ‘look’, my mother said ‘listen’ to me, and I fell in love with the links that are made in a fantastic dance” he shares from the outset , in a poetry that immediately draws the viewer into the chaos of windswept grass and into this ocean dominated by giant cargo ships.
Interweaving the excessiveness of our world with the mechanics of living things, questioning the place of the human within it to reveal the anxiety that comes when we lose our child’s gaze, Emmanuel Cappellin shares, through his journey, the story of his attempts: “I spent ten years planting in the forest, then I had my zero waste period, my period let’s change the world with films – which have changed nothing, or very little … other films ”he confides, almost disillusioned, before continuing his reflection along the trajectories already well described by the Meadows report in 1972.
Through him, this is precisely the course that we question, just like the horizon of a tragedy that scares away illusions. “The curves taunt us, they say that we have done nothing, except to burn the warming in the land, the ocean, the ice” he laments before leaving to meet him. experts on the subject and scientists whom he questions about their way of living with this ecological mental load.
From a Jean-Marc Jancovici asserting that “Without a vision it is chaos that will resolve the situation” and that it is necessary to lucidly “relearn in a constrained universe” to a Pablo Servigne whom he questions on the ways of creating collective energy with this observation, Emmanuel Cappellin also takes us to meet lesser-known figures in France, such as Richard Heinberg, in the United States, who focuses on thinking after oil, Salim Huq who, in Bangladesh, specializes in adaptation strategies to climate change, without forgetting the German Susanne Moser, expert in resilience, who draws on our collective history to enable us to respond to the situation.
So it is in this way of broadening the gaze and decentring the fear of breaking points by spending time in the privacy of these researchers who live daily with the knowledge of this alarming information that does good. Because if climate change is a strong emotional trigger, Emmanuel Cappellin explains, in his own way, that we can only accept what is going through us. “We are one and our commitments and renouncements give dignity and meaning”
When asked about this, the director admits having been guided “by a very deep motor, of the order of the unconscious at the start: the desire to know if man is capable of self-regulation” . Having traveled extensively as part of his studies and his collaborations with Yann Arthus Bertrand, he fed his reflections on the different traditions and encounters he had at the time. “During all these years, I have groped a lot, to make this anti-cinematographic object a cinema object, that was the most interesting challenge: trying to get out of the usual grammar that puts us in the face of apathy, with sensational images. I wanted to shake up this imagination by creating other ways of creating a link “.
Making his village in the Drôme a parable of what everyone can implement on their own scale, Emmanuel Cappellin admits that he has found today a balance between the film release and the commitment made for some time in the construction of a participatory housing designed in the rules of the art of positive energy buildings and collective dynamics that allow, precisely, concrete action to respond to its fear of collapse.
Though he wondered for a long time whether he was giving the public a poisonous gift, the director was keen to develop a campaign to accompany the film, “so that people are not destitute.” “We have trained 400 people in France, 60 of whom speak in theaters, so that the public can become a community, to make the invisible visible – an action guide, moving from ‘you’ to ‘on’,” he explains. indicating this tree of action in which everyone can find ways to take concrete action in their daily lives.
Enough to feed, undoubtedly, all the young people who today wonder about the future to the point of doubting and tilting – like the young Arthur Gosset who has just directed the very touching Ruptures (co-production Spicee and Yami 2).
“I was involved in student associations, at Centrale when I experienced from the inside the manifesto’s call for an ecological awakening, then Clément Choisne’s speech during the graduation ceremony” explains the young man, then determined to change the training courses so that they are more numerous on climate and environment issues.
In reality, what meaning should be given to the engineering profession when everything has to be called into question? How do you plan for the future when you know that building highways no longer makes sense? What to believe when a career with a high salary “à la papa” is no longer a dream?
These are some of the questions Arthur asks himself who, entering a gap year, decides to tell these questions from within in Ruptures:
For a year, from September 2019 to September 2020, he films the trajectories chosen by students who, aware of the ecological emergency, decide to branch off: from one who espouses activism to one who leaves a large group via others who set up their small local business, Arthur delivers in a touching way the questions of this youth who feels concerned but taken by surprise.
“I especially wanted to show that this rupture is not only in the head, in the awareness: it is also lived with the close relations, to begin with the parents, who do not always understand what is happening”, confides the young person. director. In the film, one cannot help but be touched by this scene in which we see him cry in front of his own parents, revealing his moods and his inability to accept to act as if nothing had happened.
From this central point of the rupture, others appear, starting with that experienced with other relatives and friends: “it helps to be surrounded by people who share this experience, this is where we find the strength to to fight ”explains Arthur who finds it regrettable to find adversity in incomprehension.
Today soon graduated, he does not see himself going to work in a large group, if only to try to change the lines from the inside: “before, the priority was to have social recognition and a good salary, today”. it is more about having an impact, ”he believes.
Beyond the climate walks and garbage collections, the young people who testify in Ruptures are also driven by the desire to carry these subjects more massively. “We do not know what to expect when we are in such a rupture, but after the confusion, we advocate a return to reason”
And even if the paths of commitment are not a long calm river and that leaving everything to give life to its values upsets certain ideals, the message of this documentary is quite clear: if this youth affected by these uncertainties to come is to more and more worried, she turns out to be as determined to leave the demand for productivity as to be creative, humble and courageous to get there.
Without doubt, this is one of the best remedies for eco-anxiety: being well informed, talking about plans B, and being active so that things change instead of moping. Personally, if that doesn’t prevent big moments of doubt, it’s still a proven recipe;)
The film Bigger than us, by Flore Vasseur, is aimed especially at young people: for its theatrical release on September 22, there are 100,000 seats specially reserved for them. Spread the message !
I’ll believe it when I no longer see young people going to “junk food” or breakfast restaurants with “Energy-Drinks”.
The homily is too long, but the theme is interesting. Does environmentalism make you depressed? My answer is yes. They call it “eco-anxiety”. However, we are talking about the same thing: depression. Notice that religions have their own ways of naming things. What we call “dogmas” Christians call “mysteries”. Going back to greenism, it leads its followers in all cases, either to hypochondria, or to depression, or (more often) to both at the same time. Greenism is a doctrine that makes you unhappy; in this sense it has no future. It’s good that the green people are starting to ask the question even if, of course, they will continue to hide their face for the moment.
The suicidal denial, the diversion of the subject, the counter-argumentation in bad faith so as not to have to accept the slightest bit of disturbing reality on the fact that we will all have to agree to significantly erode our current comforts so that the impact of the wall of change to come is less hard.
You, admitting that you are not a vulgar stipendist lobbyist, prefer to keep driving at full speed, probably hoping not to be there at the time of impact.
Mysteries are one thing, dogmas another, for Christians and for anyone who knows the meaning of words;
It’s not the greenness that makes people depressed, it’s the reality of this world at the end of the line.
In order not to see it, you are the one covering your face.
Maybe start by leaving this unproductive romanticism which pushes to want to “leave everything to get involved”, to confuse conscience and anguish, to think that to renounce is to act, and above all to stop taking oneself for Christ witnessing to the sins of the world.
40% of young people do not want to have children for climatic reasons. And news outlets continue to distill the anxiety with the passive support of scientists. Here we are witnessing firsthand the collapse of a society that has strived for universal access to food, culture and knowledge. The decline in the global birth rate is certainly one of the most worrying subjects, and for the time being, with effects that can be easily modeled. Sad World.
The progress you cite has nothing to do with the current problem of mass overconsumption of unnecessary goods, food waste and more generally the life of the world on credit in terms of global resources.
Now is the time for the eco-dictatorship which, under the pretext of saving the planet, will subjugate citizens, with its ecofanatics quirky and its Novlanguage term. This
“Exoanxiety” we feel the thinktank that has worked hard …
A.D. Google the following pages: “How to represent the mystery of the Immaculate Conception? “And” The Dogma of the Immaculate Conception “You will see that they are talking about the same thing. The duality comes from the fact that the term mystery is less pejorative, seen from the inside, than the word dogma. Here we have the same workaround of words with a bad connotation, and the replacement of the word depression by “eco-anxiety”, coined for the occasion (it is not a medical term).