What would you do if decision makers had been selling out your future for decades upon decades and no one would listen to you? That’s the question young people across the world are grappling with. We’re sad. We’re tired. We’re angry. We’re terrified. Above all? We were betrayed.
Young people aren’t taking it lying down, though. We’re learning about solutions in school, we’re working in laboratories and in the field, we’ve made it inside the halls of Congress and the White House, and we’re taking to the streets. And some of us? Some of us have taken to the courts. Youth v Gov, a documentary out on Netflix today, is their story.
Youth v Gov is a heartbreaking story of systemic betrayal, an inspiring tale of young heroes, and an everyday account of love — for each other and for this planet we call home. It’s one of the best, and most important, movies I’ve ever seen and you should watch it on Netflix today!
I got to see this film at the Bozeman International Film Festival last fall and speak with director Christi Cooper about youth climate action on the post-screening panel. I even wrote a climate culture review! Back then, though, there was not anywhere that folks could actually see the movie for themselves. Today, that all changes.
I hope you watch the film today to learn more about the Juliana v. United States of America court case — in which 21 youth plaintiffs are suing the federal government for infringing on their rights to life, liberty, and property by continuing to pollute our atmosphere and kill our climate. I hope you watch the film today to meet these incredible young people who are standing up for each and every one of us. Youth v Gov is about this case and their lives, but in a way, this case is all of ours. The plaintiffs you’ll meet each have a very specific stake in this case, because of their age and the places they call home. But, the truth is that we’ve all been betrayed by the fossil fuel companies and the decision makers who allow their reign of terror to continue. I could be a plaintiff, you could be a plaintiff… anyone who calls earth home could be a plaintiff.
And that’s the beauty of Youth v Gov. The 21 plaintiffs are ordinary young people. The most compelling parts of this movie are when we get to see Levi climbs a tree or rides his longboard, listen to Aji sing, or watch Kelsey play with the younger girls. These are everyday young people with families, friends, and lives just like yours. But in these extraordinary times, where the very climate we need to survive is breaking down around us, they have risen to the challenge and become heroes. And you can too.