…on The Island President.
The Maldives is the most beautiful place on Earth. Let’s get that out of the way. The capital of the Maldives is pictured in the first shot. Consider that in the context of global warming and you have this movie’s prime tension. The actual president who was “The Island President” is/was an Obama-like character named Mohamed Nasheed, who oversaw the downfall of the previous ruler’s 30 year dictatorship. The most beautiful place on Earth was for most of this century a brutal dictatorship where people were tortured with ants and disappeared. So this Island President takes over for that Island Dictator and now faces the much more horrible prospect that climate change will continue to erode the Maldives until they are wiped off the map. The Island President tackles the Maldivean existential threat by being vocal in the global community, rabble-rousing at small island state conferences, climate change negotiations, and doing stunts like having a cabinet session underwater to show what the Maldives is facing. He’s great and charismatic, an astute politician. So this movie tackles all that. Stick around for the postscript.
On the one hand, I want to save Maldives being that it’s the most beautiful place on Earth and has cities that look ripped from an outlandish dream or Calvino’s Invisible Cities. On the other hand, the people of the Maldives should be making the appropriate arrangements to not live there. No one has a positive right to live in any environment on Earth. Nature changes, whether by the hand of man or the hand of God; islands, land masses, come into being and are sucked backed from where they came; arable regions become deserts, rivers move, etc. So whether you are deciding to repopulate New Orleans, or live in the Maldives, or you’re just some rich Malibuean who wants to have a beachfront house, you are responsible for your economic decisions and you need to make good ones. People and life are everything; land is just land. The Island President makes a comment along the lines of “the fragility of human life here” and if he can acknowledge that it is fragile, maybe it’s time to allocate resources towards getting his people in a place that is more robust.
It’s embarrassing that a movie as beautiful as this is not available on Blu-Ray. It’s embarrassing in general that so many entities acquire the rights to modern movies only to release them DVD only. WTF is the point of owning/buying something if you don’t want to maximize its value? Is it that much more to author a Blu-Ray? I honestly don’t know, but I’m floored by how many high quality movies released in the last couple years are not available on Blu-Ray. Don’t even get me started on older movies that still aren’t on Blu-Ray or for that matter CLASSICS that are not even available on DVD like Greed or Kings of the Road.