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The Island President

Submitted by MBergeron on May 10, 2012 – 12:47 amNo Comment
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The Island President follows the short lived career of Mohamed Nasheed, who was briefly and brightly the democratically elected president of the formerly democratic atoll country, composed of over a thousand islands, of Maldives. This documentary played the festival route briefly last year and in the time between then and now Nasheed was dethroned so to speak in a military coup.

But The Island President is not about that so much as about global warming and Nasheed’s efforts to bring the world’s nations together at the December 2009 Copenhagen Climate Change summit. When he was elected as president in 2008 Nasheed accelerated Mandives into the future by initiating a carbon free mandate for the country. As the film shows in a few brilliant establishing shot many of the islands are floating at sea level (not unlike Manhattan) and susceptible to erosion and changing tides. The country was also decimated during the 2004 ocean tsunami.

Nasheed is a regular kind of guy if this doc is to be taken at face value. Nasheed smokes the occasional fag, talks to his mother on his cell, and advocates a progressive approach to living for his country. He’s hands on and would rather spend his country’s money on education and social reform but has to divert a large amount of those funds to shore up the shoreline from the encroaching and ever rising ocean. As a social leader he’s too good to be true, and thus his ouster.

There are some magnificent shots in the film depicting the islands. The most significant are the main island lined with buildings and sitting on the ocean like a city floating in the sky.

- Michael Bergeron

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