• PG, 1 hr. 41 min.
  • Documentary
  • Directed By:
    Jon Shenk
    In Theaters:
    Mar 28, 2012 Limited
    On DVD:
    Nov 13, 2012
  • Samuel Goldwyn Films


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The Island President Reviews

Peter Howell
Toronto Star
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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.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 2.5/4

June 14, 2012
John Hartl
Seattle Times
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Climate-change documentaries are almost always disturbing, but "The Island President" communicates a special urgency.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3/4

May 3, 2012
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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[An] engaging, gorgeously photographed documentary.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

April 27, 2012
Tom Long
Detroit News
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Nasheed is indeed inspirational, a cool-headed but passionate and courageous guy. You end up wishing a lot more leaders were like this guy.

Full Review Source: Detroit News | Original Score: B+

April 26, 2012
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
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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.

Full Review Source: Washington Post | Original Score: 3/4

April 20, 2012
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
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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.

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Original Score: B+

April 6, 2012
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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"The Island President"is heartening and unsettling by turns.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 4/5

April 5, 2012
Walter V. Addiego
San Francisco Chronicle
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"The Island President" is a mostly compelling documentary about that rarest of breeds, an appealing politician.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

March 30, 2012
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
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"The Island President" personalizes the threat of global warming, and nationalizes it too, by focusing on Mohamed Nasheed, the former president of the Maldives.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

March 29, 2012
Noel Murray
AV Club
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What's fascinating and frustrating about The Island President is how it reveals international politics to be even more polarized and mired in bureaucracy than local politics.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: B-

March 29, 2012
V.A. Musetto
New York Post
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Viewers get an eye-opening look at behind-the-scenes wrangling.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 3/4

March 29, 2012
John DeFore
Hollywood Reporter
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A portrait of defiant optimism as a last-chance means of survival, Jon Shenk's The Island President offers not only a Mandela-like tale of political heroism but a much-needed perspective on climate change.

Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter

March 28, 2012
A.O. Scott
New York Times
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The hope that infuses this movie makes it all the more upsetting to walk out of the theater and contemplate a looming disaster that the world's leaders seem unable to prevent.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 3/5

March 28, 2012
Keith Uhlich
Time Out New York
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It's fascinating to be so close to a then-sitting head of state as he negotiates for his homeland's survival, and the news that Nasheed was recently deposed in a coup by Gayoom loyalists makes the hard-won victories he did secure all the more poignant.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 3/5

March 27, 2012
Derek Adams
Time Out
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Moves swiftly from political scene-setting to follow Nasheed's every move as he prepares to make an impassioned environmental plea at the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Summit.

Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 4/5

March 27, 2012
Melissa Anderson
Village Voice
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Shenk's film is close enough to his subject to catch the leader who rails against carbon-dioxide emissions puffing on cigarettes in parking lots.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

March 27, 2012
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