How to Change the World

How to Change the World

Jerry Rothwell (2015)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Given the access that writer/director Jerry Rothwell had to the 1,500 or so cans of 16mm film in the Greenpeace archive, this is a frustratingly selective chronicle of the early days of the pioneering group that helped make environmentalism fashionable. Founded almost accidentally in 1969 by a bunch of Vancouver hippies out to stop the Nixon administration from conducting underground nuclear tests on the Alaskan island of Amchitka, Greenpeace started to widen its sphere of activity under its reluctant leader, Bob Hunter. A journalist better at promoting issues rather than running an organisation, Hunter relied heavily on committed lieutenants such as sailor Paul Watson and scientist Patrick Moore. But Rothwell allows himself to become distracted by their feuds rather than concentrating on the landmark campaigns against whaling and seal-culling that broadened Greenpeace's appeal and demonstrated the efficacy of well-targeted activism. While Hunter's viewpoint is voiced from his writings by actor Barry Pepper, Watson and Moore argue their cases in interviews. However, they are not accorded equal screen time and this imbalance further skews an account that is primarily worth seeing for Ron Precious and Rex Weyler's field footage and photography.


Documentary charting the rise of environmentalism and exploring how a group of activists on a fishing boat in Canada evolved into the world-famous charitable organisation Greenpeace. The small band of idealists were led by inspirational journalist Bob Hunter and protested against the atomic bomb in 1970s Canada.

Cast & Crew

Bob Hunter Bob Hunter
Paul Watson Paul Watson (2)
Rex Weyler Rex Weyler
Patrick Moore Patrick Moore
Will Jackson Will Jackson
Bob Hunter Barry Pepper
Director Jerry Rothwell
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: PicturehouseGuidance: Swearing, disturbing images, nudity.Available on: DVDReleased on: 4 Sep 2015