Island President “a depressing reminder of world’s vested interests”: Jon Shenk

Filming primarily during the former president’s first year in office, Director of the Island President Jon Shenk and his team trailed him around the globe, filming everything from the underwater cabinet meetings – where Nasheed conducted with ministers all wearing scuba gear to highlight the problems of rising water levels – to his trip to the UN, Westminster and Copenhagen’s Environment Summit to beseech Western diplomats to act quickly in the name of global environmental protection, writes Caroline Frost for the Huffington Post.

Shenk had different problems from those of Nasheed, but equal challenges:

“I think he had an amazing amount of trust, but we quickly learned that there’s a reason why a film about this state’s leader had never been made before. It’s just so difficult to get access to everything, whether it’s cabinet meetings, or family life, and then it becomes 1000 times more difficult once you leave that country, and you’re dealing bilaterally with other leaders, other heads of state, it was pretty much a constant battle.”

Unfortunately, Shenk stopped filming shortly before Nasheed was ousted from office in a coup orchestrated by the tyrannous regime his government had replaced. As events raced ahead of him, Shenk added an end card to his film so viewers were kept updated:

“The film ended on a high with him still president, then by the film was released in cinemas in the US and UK, the coup had happened, and it changes the way that the film affects people.

“In a way, the film is completely unchanged by events because so much about his first year in office and the drama of him fighting that struggle at Copenhagen, but in other ways, it’s a depressing reminder of the vested interests that exist in the world, in keeping things the way they are, money interests controlling the day, even in countries where there is a strong independent national propensity to move towards democracy.”

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4 thoughts on “Island President “a depressing reminder of world’s vested interests”: Jon Shenk”

  1. Anni never was environmentalist and never spoke about the environment prior taking his office.

    This was a media stunt done by him to become famous and to become well known in the international community.

    Anni lost his office due to continuous breach and violation of the constitution . His arrogant attitude was the reason for him to resign from his post .

  2. President Nasheed is a great leader. He is genuinely concerned about the poor. His aimwas and always is to make life better for the poor and the vulnerable. He is an intellectual, exposed and kind hearted person who understand what inequality means. His passion for environment obviously grew after he became the President as he became more exposed to the global environmental issues. He saved the people of Maldives from a brutal dictatorship, unfortunately his fight is not still over as the 30 year old brutal regime has planted so much ignorance in this country. The power greedy dictators people are committing hideous crimes to hurt the ordinary people and use the cointry's resources for their own personal benefit I wish President Nasheed all the best in his fight to make the Maldives a better place .

  3. Bravo President Nasheed, you make us proud to be a Madlivian, even at this depressing time of Coup led govt. Please inspire this nation and make many locals to be better leaders who love this nation.


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