The Stars Of The Film




Oscar-nominated actor Pete Postlethwaite (In The Name of the Father, Usual Suspects, Brassed Off) plays our one and only fictional character. He is The Archivist, who's been living alone for 20 years in an enormous storage facility housing all of humanity's achievements. The year is 2055 and runaway climate change has devastated huge parts of the world and killed hundreds of millions of people. It can no longer be stopped. The Archivist is now pulling together bits of "old" footage from 2007 (our documentaries), trying to work out why we didn't stop climate change while we still had the chance.





Jeh Wadia, India


Jeh was born into one of India's richest and most powerful business families. He believes that "everyone has a higher purpose" and that his is to "end poverty in our country in my lifetime". But travelling to rural areas at weekends by private jet to do social work cost "more than taking a village out of poverty". So he started taking the train. On one of these 26-hour journeys he had his Eureka moment. He would launch a low-cost airline. With fares starting as low as one rupee, even "rickshaw drivers, servants, taxi drivers" could fly. Within a year he'd get a million people off the trains and into the skies.



Layefa Malemi, Nigeria


23-year-old wannabe medical student Layefa Malemi wants "to live like an American" with "flashy cars and comfortable houses, drinking clean water and eating good food". But she lives in complete poverty in a tiny village in the Niger Delta, with no electricity, drinking water or toilets. About 20 people died in a recent cholera outbreak. She dreams of becoming a doctor to "save the lives of people who are poor or needy" and also "to become famous, to be like a hero". She starts going fishing every morning, saving up money for college fees, but the river is "not good" because of the pollution caused by the extraction of millions of dollars worth of oil from the area every month. With the whole region descending into a "living hell" of daily violence, murder and kidnapping, Layefa decides "if you can't beat them, it is best to join them".



Alvin DuVernay, New Orleans


Searching for oil off the coast of America is like "being a sports star or in some kind of battle", says lifelong Shell employee Alvin DuVernay. They drill three miles down, suck up some mud and give it to paleontologist Al. He examines the microscropic fossils, "deconstructs time itself" and advises where to drill next. The best bit is when the oil starts flowing and "smells so much like money it's just beautiful". On 30th August 2005, after Hurricane Katrina had decimated his home city of New Orleans, Al personally rescued more than 100 people in his boat. He thinks the devastation and suffering he saw that day is just a taste of what is to come if we continue to "literally burn up" our most valuable resource. "With our use or misuse of resources the last 100 years or so, I’d probably rename this age something like The Age of Ignorance, The Age of Stupid." he says. "If you multiply what happened to a million people living in this area by the billions on this planet... it's gonna be ugly".


Fernand Pareau, The Alps


For French mountain guide Fernand Pareau it was "truly love at first sight" when he set eyes on the ancient glaciers of the Chamonix valley. He has since climbed the world-famous Mont Blanc peak more than 150 times, including "two years ago, for my 79th birthday". But over his long lifetime Fernand has seen his beloved glaciers melt by more than 150 metres. "With global warming everything is different", he says. Trees are now growing much higher in the mountains and birds don't bother to migrate for winter. Fernand takes his great-grandchildren, Jean and Rudy, high up in the mountains to ski on artificial snow as the ski slope in the village has long since closed. 3000 lorries "taking French potatoes to Italy and bringing them back as mash" drive right past Fernand's house every day. "It's madness. Madness." Fernand joins bicycle protests and plants 900 trees, but knows he does so in vain. "I think people in the future will be angry at us for not thinking to protect the environment. We only thought to profit from it."



Jamila & Adnan Bayyoud, Iraq


Jamila and Adnan were only 5 and 6 when their home was destroyed by a missile on the second day of the Iraq war. They fled the house before the missile struck, but their elder brother, Malik, was badly burned and their father killed. "Our dad was the best one in all Iraq", says Adnan, "But the Americans came and killed him. We found him dead in the morning." The children now live on the streets in Jordan, scraping a living selling second-hand American shoes: "We wear our shoes till they fall apart, but they just throw theirs away". Meanwhile in Baghdad, brother Malik has managed to get the vital medical certificate he needs to make his ninth attempt at crossing the border. Jamila and Adnan get a taxi to the border, hoping to be reunited with their brother.



Piers Guy, England


Windfarm developer Piers Guy doesn't see wind energy as the magic bullet that will save the world from climate change. But he does think that, especially for a windy country like England, turbines are the "foot soldiers, the pioneers" of a more intelligent energy system based on massively reducing energy use. He believes that "out of sight, out of mind" energy production has led to us all becoming "consumerholics" and, therefore, "the more you can see the turbines the better". Unfortunately the well-organised, well-heeled local anti-wind campaigners have no intention of letting Piers's turbines spoil their view. "It's a fair fight", says the anti-wind campaign leader "and I hope you lose".