Imagine Life In Paradise!
This week’s “Cult Movie Monday” takes you to a gorgeous string of idyllic islands in the Indian ocean…but political treachery and climate change threaten to destroy these islands forever…
This is Male, the capital of the Maldive islands…and as you can see, they have used up all the space they have on this particular island for business…
Unfortunately, because of rising ocean levels this country is quickly disappearing and there doesn’t seem to be any action to save it! The Maldives are slowly being taken back by the sea…and as the sea levels continue to rise, the islands will simply disappear…
Saving The Maldives – And Saving The Planet!
Regardless of your political beliefs, you can’t argue that the ocean sea levels are rising – and that is a death knell to low lying countries like The Maldive Islands.
I encourage you to watch this terrific – and tragic – documentary that looks at the problem.
“The Island President!”
This 2011 documentary is much more powerful than I imagined, and even more powerful now – after a series of shocking political events in the Maldives.
First, check out the trailer:
Political Activist Mohamed Nasheed became President of the Maldive Islands in 2008, and the documentary takes a very in-depth look at his rise to power.
As you can see, the Maldive Islands are the lowest-lying country in the world. Nasheed immediately took on the issue of global warming, in an effort to keep his homeland from disappearing under the sea.
President Nasheed did some amazing stunts to bring attention to global warming, including holding a cabinet meeting underwater!
He also regularly spoke to the press about the problem…even if he was still in his scuba gear – he was a passionate spokesperson and leader for his country – struggling to make the world help save it!
The Story’s Double Tragedy!
This documentary is amazing for two reasons. First, the movie documents Nasheed’s effort as President to bring attention to global warming’s disastrous effect on his country. The filmmakers have extraordinary access to him at all times.
In the movie, he speaks constantly about the need to stay at 350 parts per million of carbon monoxide in the atmosphere….the only way The Maldives can survive…however, the average global levels of carbon dioxide stayed above 400 parts per million through all of March 2015 — the first time that has happened for an entire month since record keeping first began!
So amazing Maldive Islands like this may not last. The 2011 release of the documentary should have been positive call to action, but instead this happened:
Former President Nasheed Was Inprisoned!
This news was especially awful after seeing all that he was trying to do for his people – in a country rife with corruption!
It all began when Nasheed was overthrown – a year after the documentary was released!
In February of 2012, Nasheed resigned as president under disputed circumstances, with Nasheed stating that he had been forced to resign “at gunpoint” by police and army officers in a coup d’état.
Nasheed was then arrested and charged with calling for the arrest of a Chief Judge.
He was found guilty of that crime by a three-judge bench – their verdict was unanimous – and the office of the new President, Abdulla Yameen, denied that the prosecution of his chief rival for power was political!
Nasheed was given a 13-year prison sentence.
After three years in jail, in January 2016, Nasheed was granted temporary medical leave to travel to the UK for medical treatment. In May 2016, the UK government granted him and his family asylum.
Since then of course, hundreds of thousands of island residents have endured flooding and the inevitable collapse of their country.
When you see “The Island President”, you will see a visionary leader who is trying to make positive changes for his country, but clearly that is not possible now.
I hope that his country doesn’t end up completely underwater, because then the world would lose beauty like this:
This is a compelling documentary, and I hope it is updated to reflect the events of the last 8 years as well.
I have also told you about a terrific Writer who also captured the devastating impact of climate change on small islands in the South Pacific:
Writer J. Maartan Troost has written 4 terrific travel books, all with a funny and focused point of view…beginning with this one:
“The Sex Lives Of Cannibals” documented his wild life as he learned to live in the northern pacific islands…and his latest book was a trip back to those islands to see what has happened since he left:
Yes, the impact of climate change has been devastating – you should read both books back-to-back for the full impact.
Read all about his travels, including what has happened to the paradise he spent years in, by clicking on my story here:
I cannot recommend “The Island President” more highly on this “cult movie Monday” – and here’s to justice for former Maldives President Mohamad Nasheed!