The Cannes Film Festival isn't best known for its nonfiction, but ever since Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" won the top prize in 2004, there has been a steady increase in the number of important docs at the fest, many of them with a heavily activist bent, from Moore's own "Sicko" in 2007 to "Inside Job" to last year's BP oil spill doc "The Big Fix." This year, my money is on the newly announced documentary "Trashed" to be this year's event doc, complete with a star, Jeremy Irons, and a significant global issue: the dangers of pollution and the world’s overflowing problem of waste.
While there is little more than a few official pieces of information about the film as of yet, it is directed by U.K. filmmaker Candida Brady ("Madam and the Dying Swan") and and apparently follows Irons as he travels the globe – stopping off in Iceland, Vietnam and Brazil – looking at the problem, according to a report in Screen.
In an interview with Irons at the film's website (the only thing there at the moment), Irons spoke extensively about the movie. Here are some excerpts:
“We’re making this movie, because there are so many people who feel strongly the urgent need for the problem of ‘waste’ and ‘sustainability’ to be addressed. There is an equally urgent need for the most imaginative and productive solutions to this troublesome subject to be understood and shared by as many communities as possible throughout the world."
"This is where movies can play such an important role, educating society, bringing ‘difficult’ subjects to the broadest possible audience. If you look at Al Gore’s ‘Inconvenient Truth’: like it or loathe it, everyone’s heard of it. Potentially movies have the power to reach everyone, touch us on an emotional level and to galvanise us.”
“There is a clear feeling from a growing number of people that the time has come for us all to start to try and change our ways, and to endeavour to live a more careful life."
"Not only for reasons of morality, but also out of our instinct for self-preservation. We need our planet more than she needs us, yet our fates are inextricably entwined.”
“There are many ways in which we can make mankind a sustainable presence on our planet and most of them are both easily done and inexpensive. We can grow some of our own food, recycle instead of constantly throwing things away. And we can all be the agents of such change; we don’t need to wait to be told by politicians what to do. Indeed, there are already many communities beginning to live in this way and their progress is very inspiring.”
“For the film we’ve been talking to experts and practitioners from around the world who are searching for solutions to, what could be described as, our parasitical way of life. We have discovered some amazing ways in which such change can be accomplished. We address many people’s desire to help themselves and future generations distinguish ‘quality of life’ from ‘quantity of life’."