This is what documentaries are meant to be. The Island President almost starts out as a story about a regime that was overthrown but eventually turns into a story about a new leader that looks to "overthrow" other governments lack of concern about global warming.
Sure, there are lots of politicians that discuss global warming and even a few want to do something about it, but no other president manages a country that will soon be entirely underwater. The Maldives is a chain of about 2000 islands that rest preciously only feet above sea level. As temperatures rise and the polar ice caps melt, these islands run the risk of becoming a modern day Atlantis.
But what makes this film so compelling is the access the filmmakers had to the daily life of president Mhamed Nasheed. Trying to reverse engineer the making of this film, it would appear that the filmmakers started out covering the story along the lines of a political prisoner that came back to his home country to rule as the people's leader. But, in my assumption, the filmmakers learned they had a greater story to tell in President Nasheed's struggle to literally save his country from drowning.
The idea of telling a story of an exile who returned home to lead his people would have been a noble story, but in truth, it is a story that has been heard before. If my assumption is correct, these filmmakers made a bold and correct decision to change course and focus their story on another angle.
Wonderfully executed and beautifully shot, The Island President gives us a first hand account into meetings with world leaders and great insight into how the global political game is played.
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