Film Review: Tomorrow (Demain)
Tomorrow (Demain) (2016) Directors Mélanie Laurent, Cyril Dion
By Belle McIntyre
This delightful, and informative documentary based on Cyril Dion’s companion book, TOMORROW: All Over the Globe, Solutions Already Exist, is timed to open on April 21 simultaneously with EARTH DAY celebrations. It opens with some seriously doom-laden predictions of the end of humanity as soon as 2040 or 2100 latest. Based on a study published by “Nature” in 2012 with imminent scientists from a variety of esteemed institutions around the world whose findings were based on the measurable changes we can see today and projecting them forward if things go on at the current rate. If this ominous picture makes you want to crawl under your covers, stick your head in the sand, or scoff at the notion, take heart. There is hope. It is real and verifiable and come next.
The rest of the film becomes like an upbeat classroom with graphs, graphics and music as we follow the two very appealing directors and the camera crew to ten different countries where they film a fascinating assortment of small communities who are all practicing creative, out-of- the box ways of living and working. The operative word is communal as the mindset is not at all self-centered. The film is divided into sections:
ENERGY and ways to use less, be sustainable, and create new cleaner and more efficient forms.
DEMOCRACY - ways to work within the system to bring change or against it with alternative initiatives to accomplish goals outside the system
EDUCATION - inform the young people who will inherit this tenuous world before they get too jaded to realize what needs to happen
ECONOMY - explores micro-currencies designed to support local economies and allow them to thrive and compete with corporate suppliers of food, goods and services.
AGRICULTURE - think small, local and non-mechanized, diversified planting and farming - promoting symbiosis between species and increasing productivity.
There are some amazing statistics and examples to support them. Apparently more of our edible agriculture comes from small farms, not agribusiness, which are hugely energy hungry and damaging to the earth. There are now small farms all over the city of Detroit which have sprung up in the abandoned areas and they are providing affordable fresh, pesticide-free food to a large segment of the population. There are some communities which have established alternative currencies which can be exchanged for regular currency but only be used in the local economy to pay for goods and services in the area which honors it. Thus keeping the money in the local economy to allow it to support its own businesses and suppliers. The film is full of interesting and creative ways which regular people have developed which are having significant and quantifiable results.
This film is a worthy addition to the genre of Save the Planet eco-centric activist documentaries. It has much in common with Michael Moore’s uncharacteristically upbeat Where to Invade Next, which explored unusual and evolved successful practices in food, education, work and prison in other countries. This is not meant to be a hand-wringing experience. It is a call to action with a roadmap for guidance in a clear and well-presented format. It is asking for nothing less than a new mindset and a shift in priorities and the case is compellingly and entertainingly made. It is a film which should to be seen by as many people as possible. Change is coming but it needs to come sooner rather than later. The chorus is getting louder and that’s a good thing.
Watch the trailer here