What I Am Greta lacks in dramatic tension, it makes up for in character. The documentary will find a natural audience among climate activists and those curious about the young girl from Sweden who launched a global youth movement, though it's decidedly more about the latter than the former.
Viewers' curiosity will be sated with footage of Greta's home life, parents, school, early start as an activist, and some interactions with peers. The film explores her personality and the weight of responsibility she feels for both the climate and her symbolic status, and it touches on a challenging childhood that included years of selective mutism and social isolation.
There are clips from some of her biggest speeches and marches, including the U.N. summit where she angrily condemned adult inaction on climate change in her now famous "How dare you" speech. There's also quite a fascinating, if selective, montage of clips from TV commentators and world leaders questioning her authority, calling her a "brat" and "mentally ill" (in reference to her Asperger's syndrome) and telling her to "shut up" and "grow up."
All along the way, including on a daunting wind-powered boat trip across the Atlantic, her father is with her, reminding her to eat, beseeching her to let go of the details of a speech, convincing her to go home to rest. Greta remains laser-focused throughout, underscoring her suggestion that the world might actually focus better on issues like climate change if everyone "had a little bit of Asperger's."
Read the full review on Common Sense Media.