Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Chloe & Theo Embodies the Power of Storytelling

Climate
Chloe & Theo Embodies the Power of Storytelling

I’m always amazed at how a good story can move people. I was reminded of this again while watching the world premiere of Chloe & Theo, a film in which a homeless girl befriends an Inuit who travels to New York City from his tiny village in the Arctic to deliver an important message: "My world is melting. Please help us." (Look for the film in August at a theater near you).

Lucia Grenna speaking at the world premier of Chloe & Theo. Photo credit: Max Edkins

Theo’s story is a true one. He does leave his vast, white and silent world on the Canadian coastline where he was born (in an igloo!) and he did go to U.S. to try to meet with world leaders. His help came in the form of Monica Ord, an entrepreneur who was committed to helping HIV/AIDS victims and finding cancer cures. She heard Theo’s story and asked how she could help. She had no background in film making, but she did know Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, and told him about Theo’s story. Three months later, she and Sir Richard were on a dog sled traveling through the Arctic to see what Theo meant.

The rest, as they say, is history.

On a budget so small, the crew took only half their pay, Monica succeeded in making an engaging, and often funny, movie about Theo Ikummaq’s journey, in which he plays his charming self. Dakota Johnson insisted on playing Chloe, Theo’s guide; Mira Sorvino also costars. We experience Theo’s physical journey from the North, as well as his emotional journey through the layers and personalities of New York City.

We get invested in the Story of the Angry Sun, which Theo’s Inuit elders use to explain what’s happening to their slowly melting village. We empathize when Theo mourns that people have separated from their world, and that things are changing way too fast. We have a responsibility to what we’ve been killing, he says, his soulful deep brown eye projecting innocence and truth. The result is a simple, and entirely complicated, beautifully-told story.

Theo just wants to get his message heard, because he wanted his world to stay frozen, snow covered and remain on sacred “cathedrals of ice.” And so do we in the climate change communication business. We want to make sure our messages about our changing world are heard. But maybe we’ve been trying to do this in all the wrong ways, by telling people the facts, when what they want to hear is a good story.

The willingness to enter another’s world, as Monica Ord did, and be a witness to his story, his life, his plights and concerns is, to me, the very beginning of communication. Telling those stories in a way which allows others to experience a world they never would have otherwise changes people. It has the power to change their perspectives, opinions and hearts.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

World Premiere of Chloe & Theo and Its Extraordinary Behind-the-Scenes Story

How One Person Can Make a Big Difference

The OceanMaker: An Animated, Post-Apocalyptic Film You Don’t Want to Miss

A portion of roadway is flooded in Corpus Christi, Texas on Sept. 20, 2020 due to storm surge from Tropical Storm Beta in the Gulf of Mexico. Matt Pierce / iStock Editorial / Getty Images Plus

The National Hurricane Center has run out of names for tropical storms this year and has now moved on to the Greek alphabet during an extremely active hurricane season. Late Monday night, Tropical Storm Beta became the ninth named storm to make landfall. That's the first time so many named storms have made landfall since 1916, when Woodrow Wilson was president, according to NBC News.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Colette Pichon Battle, attorney, founder, and executive director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy. Colette Pichon Battle

By Karen L. Smith-Janssen

Colette Pichon Battle gave a December 2019 TEDWomen Talk on the stark realities of climate change displacement, and people took notice. The video racked up a million views in about two weeks. The attorney, founder, and executive director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy (GCCLP) advocates for climate justice in communities of color. Confronted with evidence showing how her own South Louisiana coastal home of Bayou Liberty will be lost to flooding in coming years, the 2019 Obama Fellow dedicates herself to helping others still reeling from the impacts of Katrina face the heavy toll that climate change has taken—and will take—on their lives and homelands. Her work focuses on strengthening multiracial coalitions, advocating for federal, state, and local disaster mitigation measures, and redirecting resources toward Black communities across the Gulf South.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A palm tree plantation in Malaysia. Yann Arthus-Bertrand / Getty Images Plus

Between 2000 and 2013, Earth lost an area of undisturbed ecosystems roughly the size of Mexico.

Read More Show Less
A home burns during the Bobcat Fire in Juniper Hills, California on September 18, 2020. Kyle Grillot / AFP/ Getty Images

By Stuart Braun

"These are not just wildfires, they are climate fires," Jay Inslee, Governor of Washington State, said as he stood amid the charred remains of the town of Malden west of Seattle earlier this month. "This is not an act of God," he added. "This has happened because we have changed the climate of the state of Washington in dramatic ways."

Read More Show Less
A new report from Oxfam found that the wealthiest one percent of the world produced a carbon footprint that was more than double that of the bottom 50 percent of the world. PickPik

A new report from Oxfam found that the wealthiest one percent of the world produced a carbon footprint that was more than double that of the bottom 50 percent of the world, The Guardian reported. The study examined 25 years of carbon dioxide emissions and wealth inequality from 1990 to 2015.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch