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The Island President (2012)

tomatometer

98

Average Rating: 7.2/10
Reviews Counted: 46
Fresh: 45 | Rotten: 1

An eye-opening and appealing documentary about an earnest politician up against the closed door drama of climate change.

100

Average Rating: 7.2/10
Critic Reviews: 16
Fresh: 16 | Rotten: 0

An eye-opening and appealing documentary about an earnest politician up against the closed door drama of climate change.

audience

77

liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 4,012

My Rating

Movie Info

The Island President is the story of President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives, a man confronting a problem greater than any other world leader has ever faced - the literal survival of his country and everyone in it. After bringing democracy to the Maldives after thirty years of despotic rule, Nasheed is now faced with an even greater challenge: as one of the most low-lying countries in the world, a rise of three feet in sea level would submerge the 1200 islands of the Maldives enough to make

PG,

Documentary

Nov 13, 2012

$75.2k

Samuel Goldwyn Films - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (47) | Top Critics (16) | Fresh (45) | Rotten (1)

The Island President is an important portrait of a determined man standing fast in a place where the ground is literally shifting beneath his feet.

June 14, 2012 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Climate-change documentaries are almost always disturbing, but "The Island President" communicates a special urgency.

May 3, 2012 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[An] engaging, gorgeously photographed documentary.

April 27, 2012 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Nasheed is indeed inspirational, a cool-headed but passionate and courageous guy. You end up wishing a lot more leaders were like this guy.

April 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Shenk expertly weaves Nasheed's extraordinary personal story together with the Maldives' breathtaking natural beauty and a Capra-esque tale of dogged idealism and political courage to create wonderfully vivid cinematic portraiture.

April 20, 2012 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What makes Nasheed's whirligig tactics so urgent is that, unlike most other countries participating in the summit, his own nation is actually in danger of being annihilated by climate change.

April 6, 2012 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

One only hopes that the documentary will help advance Nasheed's mission and inspire others to join arms out of shared ecological concern.

January 7, 2013 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

A fascinating look at an extraordinary personality.

June 15, 2012 Full Review Source: NOW Toronto
NOW Toronto

The haunting "How to Disappear Completely" plays over the closing credits. If Nasheed isn't able to wake up the world to his country's plight, in a few decades, that could be the new Maldives national anthem.

June 8, 2012 Full Review Source: Capital Times (Madison, WI)
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

If you are in a fight, you want this man on your side. He is charismatic, brave and most of all entirely believes in what he is what he is doing. I'm not sure he know the meaning of the word compromise.

June 1, 2012 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

As an insight into the cynical nature of world politics, The Island President is wonky but fascinating stuff ... But as a testament to mankind's willingness to change... it's deeply dispiriting.

May 2, 2012 Full Review Source: Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

The film clearly sides with Nasheed's David as he battles Goliath-like businesses and governments, but it never loses sight of the fact that his efforts to preserve the fragile beauty of the sinking Maldives may already be doomed.

April 27, 2012 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Shenk's tight storytelling makes for a gripping film that delivers the ugly, at times ennobling, truth.

April 20, 2012 Full Review Source: San Diego Union-Tribune
San Diego Union-Tribune

A socially engaged documentary with more heart than head, this slice of boosterism focusing on the exiled Maldives president achieves unexpected ancillary connection as a ground-floor look at a grand clash of political and governmental wills.

April 12, 2012 Full Review Source: Shockya.com
Shockya.com

An absorbing portrait of a man trying to turn a tide of indifference.

April 8, 2012 Full Review Source: Scotsman
Scotsman

Primary meets environmental documentary. A must-see now that political strife has forced the film's subject, President Mohamed Nasheed, to resign.

April 4, 2012 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Nasheed is a fascinating man with grand ideas that stand in direct contrast to his appearance.

April 4, 2012 Full Review Source: Film School Rejects
Film School Rejects

Shenk gets almost unfettered acccess to Nasheed, who is refreshingly honest about the tactics he is employing to get other countries onside

April 3, 2012 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
Eye for Film

It's a gut punch to every single person who has come to the wholly depressing conclusion that the world our grandparents enjoyed may not exist for our children.

April 2, 2012 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Audience Reviews for The Island President

In the simultaneously inspiring and harrowing documentary "The Island President," Mohamed Nasheed was elected to the presidency of the Maldives, a 2000 island archipelago nation in the Indian Ocean, bringing an end to a thirty-year repressive dictatorship in 2008. But a new struggle presents itself in global warming. Currently, the effects there can be seen in erosion and the groundwater. All of which could lead to a unique culture and nation being literally wiped from the map, and its country's population turned into 'environmental refugees.' So, instead of spending valuable resources on health care and education, he has to go with sea walls and other protective measures.

So, through this example, we get a disturbing look at what all of our futures may be like if we do not change our ways very soon.(With the use of some great shots, the Maldvies do seem like something out of speculative fiction.) If our behavior affects all others across the globe, then why can't the butterfly flap its wings in the opposite direction, which is where Nasheed comes in, not only in speaking across the world(I'm not recommending invoking World War II usually in speehces, but if you have to, mention Czechoslovakia), but also in proposing to make his country entirely carbon neutral in 10 years by relying on renewable energy sources like solar and wind, making the Maldives an example for the rest of the world. This is harder than it sounds with the economic interests of countries like China and India making things especially difficult with a memorable climax at the climate conference at Copenhagen in 2009. But sadly, Nasheed did not have that much time as he was ousted in a threatened coup in February of this year.
April 1, 2012
Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

    1. President Mohamed Nasheed: There is absolutely no scientific debate remaining. Climate change is happening now.
    – Submitted by Dan S (2 years ago)
    1. President Mohamed Nasheed: I live in the Florida Keys...water hasn't risen a 1/4" in 10+ years since all this BS started.
    – Submitted by Jean H (2 years ago)
    1. President Mohamed Nasheed: We continue to shout even though we know that your not really listening.
    – Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)
    1. President Mohamed Nasheed: If we do not act now my island nation will be submerged by the sea.
    – Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)
View all quotes (4)

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