Subscription 790/year or 190/quarter

Climate change: More severe than coronavirus

Regissør: Phie Amb

CLIMATE / The opening film at Copenhagen DOX: the young people influenced the climate choices of politics, but Ida Auken is the film's most important focal point.


Democracy works. It is possible for citizens, even children and young people, to influence major political decisions. The media simply provide a distorted image of politicians and their political parties. Because politicians will actually act against climatethe changes, and they cooperate across particles.

This is what film director Phie Ambo says about his documentary 70/30 with the subtitle "Democracy's race with the climate crisis". The film had its world premiere at the CPH:DOX Film Festival 2021 on April 21.

In a country where the prime minister has declared himself the children's prime minister, children and young people have demonstrated week after week in front of the Danish Parliament. They wanted the politicians to demonstrate that the adults in Denmark takes the lead in the climate fight. For the benefit of children and young people. As the good example. Parents, grandparents and their friends joined the demonstrations. All Danes should stand behind a Denmark that takes the lead in the climate fight.

Following four key actors

At the election in May 2019, government power in Denmark changed hands. A «red majority» subsequently led to the adoption of a climate law, a climate action plan – the construction of energy islands and a stop to the extraction of oil and gas from North Sea. This happened in the wake of a mobilization among primarily children and young people across the country – based on the parliamentary elections in June 2019. The election was a "climate election".

​​The course of events deserves a documentary film. Of course, the director could not know how things would turn out when she decided on the task. For a few months, she had the opportunity to follow four key actors in the construction and development of a popular movement. But also in the establishment of an alliance between young people and the chairman of the Danish Parliament's climate committee and finally in the further cooperation between politicians during the negotiations and adoptions in the Danish Parliament.

The documentary 70/30 is also the story of a Member of Parliament and chairman of the climate committee, Ida Auken. Due to her intense work on the climate issue, she fell ill from stress and could not participate in the negotiations on several of the major breakthroughs in the climate negotiations. It is also the story of the climate minister Dan Jorgensen, who could not participate in the development of a popular movement on the climate, but – as he said – «had to sit back and make the compromises that will drive development forward». But it is probably primarily the young people in the film who act as the real drivers of the development in the film. Selma de Montgomery and Esther Michelsen Kjeldahl from Fridays for Future and The Green Student Movement, respectively, represent the youth.

«The compromises that must drive development forward»

The film is about Denmark. It tells how relatively effortless it is to gain influence. Young people can – if they express their views through demonstrations – get the opportunity to come into contact with central political negotiators about Denmark's future. This is not about the Extension Rebellion, which by the way is not mentioned a single word in the film. Because the atmosphere is positive, almost cordial. Even a leading member of the Danish People's Party is seen in the film receiving a warm embrace. – The question that can naturally then be raised is, who was it really that should appear as an opposition to the negotiation process and threaten the future of the young people? Here, the film is astonishingly silent, has no language, and seems to suggest that further demands for the implementation of climate goals in the future can be resolved in a similar way.

What does the film director want to show with the film? To tell an audience that it all works, that democracy works, that young people are listened to. That one can talk about citizen involvement in Denmark.

Dan Jørgensen and Ida Auken

Ida Auken – the mediator between popular pressure and the Parliament and also a central politician in the climate negotiations – is perhaps the film's most important focal point. It was she who, as climate rapporteur for the Radikale Venstre and as chairman of the Danish Parliament's climate committee, passed on the message from the children's and young people's demonstrations to the Danish Parliament. And when she returned to political work after her illness, she had left the post that had made it possible to convey the young people's views to the Parliament. She had become a member of the government party (Social Democracy) and now, like the climate minister, had to "sit back and make the compromises that will drive development forward".

Ida Auken delivers the film's concluding remark: «I actually believe it now». What does Ida Auken believe in, and what can be done for the climate within the film's own thematic logic? The answer blows in the wind.

Maybe it's school kids

Corona- the pandemic set a new standard for how Danish society can stand together to defend itself. Previous restrictions on providing support and assistance to disadvantaged populations were lifted. The question is therefore whether the population after Corona is willing to undergo similarly radical changes when it comes to the climate. Or we want to Coronaa falling back into the old familiar hamster wheel?

A successful transition depends on many people being aware of the seriousness of the consequences of global warming. Who will be drivers in the local area in terms of climate solutions, and who – like Greta Thunberg – will organize school strikes? Given the seriousness of the climate situation, many types of action must be considered. Perhaps it is these schoolchildren who must remind the population of the general strike weapon – for the climate and for a future for our children and young people.


Can be watched doxonline. dk up to and including May 5.
See also festival manager Tine Fischer's opening speech, the film and the debate afterwards here .


Niels Johan Juhl-Nielsen
Niels Johan Juhl-Nielsen
Juhl-Nielsen resides in Copenhagen.

You may also likeRELATED

The art of moving

WITH HUMAN DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL: The Norwegian documentaries Ibelin and Ukjent landskap, both of which have made a strong international impression, tell moving stories about special individuals – but at the same time provide enriching perspectives on our social life. Both films give heartwarming portrayals of a person who is no longer alive, but who has left a strong imprint.

Respectful and lovingly humorous

DOCUMENTS: In well-composed black-and-white images, Øystein Mamen follows four men in Halden prison. All inmates have committed particularly serious crimes. He shows what recognition and charity can do to people.

Personal and impressionistic war pictures

NORWEGIAN GAME FILM: 83-year-old Knut Erik Jensen is back with Longing for the present. A film that does not fit neatly into the ranks of modern Norwegian blockbusters about the Second World War.

Colonialism in motion

AFRICA: The film series Tidløs reise, which is now staged in several of the country's cinematheques, shows films rooted in African culture and history – but also Africa's connection to Europe and China.

Oppenheimer also misses grossly and loudly

NUCLEAR BOMBS: Oppenheimer is an epic biographical thriller. But the film about the enigmatic man has its weaknesses. A proposal to most people with entertainment instead of facts?

A cinematic world was put into play

THE SHORT FILM FESTIVAL IN OBERHAUSEN: 'Machinima' – films made through computer games – reflect and illuminate the digital worlds we are moving ever further into. It is also reasonable to believe that artificial intelligence will make a significant impact on this field in the future.