I was fortunate enough to stumble across The Island President at the opening of the Documentary Edge International Film Festival last week – This international documentary sensation closely follows Mohamed Nasheed, the former Maldives’ president, through his fight for democracy and then an even bigger challenge – tackling global climate change.
The 1,200 islands that compose the Maldives lay merely 1.5 metres above water, making it the lowest lying country in the world. In the last five years, shores have eroded by 5 metres, sand walls have begun to border the beaches, palm trees have gradually slipped off the coastline, and fish have become scarce.
After touching on his country’s tyrannous past, which saw him imprisoned and tortured on many occasions, Nasheed takes us through his first year in office where he faces a battle like no other – to stop his country from sinking.
The documentary offers a rare and unprecedented insight into the politics behind climate change, culminating in the futile disagreements between world leaders at the Copenhagen Climate Summit in 2009, where Nasheed’s touching speech prompted the first sort of global climate change agreement.
The humble and humorous Mohamed Nasheed manages to make such a harrowing topic inspirational – he is our “Global President.”