Meet “The Island President!” This “Cult Movie Monday” Has Real Life Political Treachery And A Disappearing Island Nation!

maldives islands

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…

Male capital of Maldives

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…

global warming maldives

Going Underwater!

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…

global warming

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:

Maldives islands documentary

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.

South Nilandhe, Maldives

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.

Maldives President Nashed

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.

Mohamed-Nasheed arrrested

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.

Maldives President Nashed

I hope that his country doesn’t end up completely underwater, because then the world would lose beauty like this:

South Nilandhe, Maldives

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:

best travel books headhunters

Writer J. Maartan Troost has written 4 terrific travel books, all with a funny and focused point of view…beginning with this one:

Sex Lives Of Cannibals

“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:

south seas islands

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!


Categories: Art, Cult Movies, documentary films, Exotic Travel, Great Films, Independent Cinema, Movies, nature, Politics, Pop Culture, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir

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12 replies

  1. I don’t know how I missed this, John…I am trying to find out how I can watch this movie…I am absolutely appalled but truthfully not surprised at the outcome of this…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ll definitely think about giving this a watch! Sounds incredibly eye opening!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This looks very interesting.. Interesting post, a cabinet meeting under water.. wow..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The producers of this movie, Jon Shenk and Bonnie Cohen are family. Fascinating isn’t it. Thanks for writing about it

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The situation in The Maldives is worrying indeed. But even if reverses are made, I fear it may already be too late for that holiday paradise. The almost total dependence on tourism means a huge carbon footprint with all the jet travel to Melana airport on Male.
    Best wishes, Pete.



  1. South Carolina’s “Wooden Tombstones!” Rising Sea Water Is Killing Our Coasts! – johnrieber

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