Oscar-nominated director Josh Fox rolled into the Erasmus Pavilion Tuesday evening just as the credits of his latest documentary descended down the screen. The audience just watched the European premiere of How to Let Go of the World (and love all the things that climate can’t change). The film features Fox’s journey across the world as he spells out how a gridlocked political system overran by oil and gas companies is pushing humanity towards a furnace. Beyond the science of climate change, Fox displays the real threat it has to what matters most in life, the human heart and soul.

Free your ass

“One of the big traps about the climate action conversation is that it all happens in your head,” Fox told EM following the film. “It’s like the Parliament-Funkadelic (American funk, soul and rock band, ed.) quote, ‘free your mind, and your ass will follow.’ This movie is saying the opposite: ‘Free your ass, and your mind will follow.’”

The film takes the audience along through the threatened Amazon forest, into political oppressed China and onto the sinking island nations of Vanuatu and Samoa. “The most important thing is that the filmmaker is there with these communities that are struggling and he’s here showing a light forward,” said Rob Uzelli, member of Rotterdam’s Synergy Hub. “He shows us that we need to face the music, and that it’s bad. This wasn’t just a viewing experience, but rather a participatory experience that requires everyone to make change.”

Organized group action

Fox’s film unravels the complex web that surrounds climate change, leaving a major overhaul of the political system as the only route towards effective climate action. “You can see all the things that are wrong with the world and try to do them yourself like become a vegan, drive an electric car, become self-sustainable, or just be the best person in the world, but unless everyone does it, nothing is going to change,” said Fox in the Q&A after the film. “It’s going to take organized group action to inspire change.”