Share This Article
Refusing to give in to catastrophism, Cyril Dion and Mélanie Laurent have been identifying effective initiatives to face the environmental, economic and social challenges of the 21st century since 2015.
It all began with a study published in the prestigious journal Nature in 2012. Some twenty scientists announced that part of humanity could disappear by 2100 if nothing is done to curb climate change and the destruction of ecosystems. At the time, the news was greeted coolly. In general, human beings do not like to have their habits and convictions challenged, especially if they are to be held solely responsible for the coming ecological disaster.
Therefore, if there is no question of throwing this study into oblivion, how can we ensure that the public does not look away because of its pessimistic tone? Cyril Dion and Mélanie Laurent asked themselves this question when developing the basis for what would become the successful documentary Demain. With a conviction: adopting a constructive and optimistic angle by presenting solutions to problems is certainly the best way to convince those who still doubt the extent of the environmental, economic and social crises to come.
Researchers and citizens
Demain is presented in the form of a road movie, organised into five thematic chapters: agriculture, energy, economy, democracy, and education. The film team travels the globe, documenting encouraging and effective initiatives in ten countries, including the United States, Iceland, the United Kingdom, Denmark, India and France. During this journey, they meet scientists and researchers who, for several years, have been developing projects aimed at optimising waste recycling, promoting urban agriculture or increasing the use of renewable energy.
They also meet ordinary citizens who have become friends of nature and, for some, environmental activists. Men and women of all ages who are organising themselves, at their own level, to act for the planet. Taken separately, all these actions might seem like a few drops of water in a desert of inaction. But put together, they give an idea of what tomorrow’s world could be like. A world that is more respectful of wildlife, that adapts to its environment rather than trying to train it for its own benefit. A more sober world, where energy will be used wisely. A world in which humanity will come before immediate profits.
An immediate success
Presented at the opening of COP 21 at the end of 2015, Demain was immediately well received by the public. It exceeded one million spectators in theatres and even won the César for best documentary film in 2016. However, some commentators regret the naive character of the film and its exaggerated optimism, forgetting its discreetly subversive dimension. Although Demain proposes a constructive approach, preferring to highlight solutions rather than dwell on problems, it nonetheless denounces the immobility of governments and the game of conservative lobbies that act underhand to defend their interests.
Demain, by Cyril Dion and Mélanie Laurent, 1h59