How to Let Go of the World
and Love All the Things Climate Can't Change
Oscar-nominated director Josh Fox contemplates our climate-change future by exploring the human qualities that global warming can't destroy.
Directed by Josh Fox
Produced by Deia Schlosberg, Josh Fox
Written by Josh Fox
Edited by Annukka Lilja, Greg King
Cinematography by Josh Fox, Deia Schlosberg, Alex Tyson, Steve Liptay, Matt Sanchez
For HBO Senior Producer: Nancy Abraham
For HBO Executive Producer: Sheila Nevins
An International WOW Company production in association with HBO Documentary Films
[Note: Community screenings of HOW TO LET GO OF THE WORLD can be booked at Bullfrog Communities.]
"A fascinating, heartbreaking and ultimately inspiring ride...Highly engaging." Andrew O'Hehir, Salon
In his new film, Oscar-nominated director Josh Fox (GASLAND) continues in his deeply personal style, investigating climate change - the greatest threat our world has ever known. Traveling to 12 countries on 6 continents, the film acknowledges that it may be too late to stop some of the worst consequences and asks, what is it that climate change can't destroy? What is so deep within us that no calamity can take it away?
Featuring, among others, Lester Brown, Elle Chou, Van Jones, Elizabeth Kolbert, Michael Mann, Bill McKibben, Tim DeChristopher, Petra Tschakert.
Grade Level: 10 - 12, College, Adults
US Release Date: 2017
Copyright Date: 2016
DVD ISBN: 1-941545-74-2
"This film offers hope in the truest sense: it sees reality as it is and as it will be, given the current trajectory. It imagines a positive future, and sees myriad pathways to get there, through the small choices and actions each of us take, to act in ways that build up all the good and beautiful parts of ourselves that climate can't change. The film takes us to the place of despair, recognizing it is only in that moment of utter despair that we can move through grief and toward real hope."
Cherice Bock, Whole Terrain Journal
"Fox has created a resource of hope in cataclysmic times...This film is highly recommended for educators of all types, especially middle school through college. It would serve as an excellent pedagogical device at conferences and special community events. Five stars!"
Brian McKenna, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Michigan-Dearborn
"Highly Recommended...An excellent choice for environmental clubs and environmental film series...Viewers are inspired."
Kristan Majors, Educational Media Reviews Online
"In How to Let Go of the World we are exposed to the despair, fear, frustration, beauty, hope, and 'moral imagination' of a world grappling with climate change. By being fully open to the complexity and uncertainty of our predicament, Fox invites us to be vulnerable with him. Appropriate for both classroom and community discussions."
Wynn Calder, Director of Sustainable Schools LLC, Sustainability Consultant to National Association of Independent Schools, Co-Director of Association of University Leaders for a Sustainable Future
"Thought-provoking and entertaining...Offers hope for environmentalists and encourages viewers to make small changes to support the process."
Candace Smith, Booklist
"What can't climate change? Innovation, resilience, creativity, courage, song, and dance...This documentary may move older high school students to tears and inspire them to become climate change warriors."
Geri Diorio, School Library Journal
"Combining a personal perspective with a global survey of community responses to the challenge, it is simultaneously a tragedy about climate change and a celebration of human potential. Like the director, you may find yourself both crying and dancing."
Susan Clayton, Professor of Psychology and Environmental Studies, College of Wooster
"[A] globe-trotting survey of climate change players and hazards...This environmental report from a concerned citizen is recommended."
C. Cassady, Video Librarian
"Very powerful! A 'must see' film for all university students taking courses that address the environment. Climate change is our biggest environmental problem by far and we all need to understand the issues. How to Let Go of the World does a fabulous job of explaining the multifaceted issues of our rapidly changing climate."
Terry L. Root, Senior Fellow Emerita, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University
"A film that is both decidedly alarmist and yet unmistakably optimistic...It's clear as to why this is without a doubt one of the most engaging documentaries of the year."
Joshua Brunsting, CriterionCast
"Excellent. Filmed from the perspectives of those most impacted, the poor and indigenous people around the world, How To Let Go of the World puts a human face on the consequences of climate change. Although the film highlights the daunting task of confronting the overexploitation of planetary resources and the increasing threats of climate change, it nevertheless maintains optimism by focusing on the human spirit and the courage of those willing to take action."
Dr. Paul Mohai, Professor of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan
"Eye-opening...In finding acceptance of the challenges to come, and trying to locate heroes instead of reasons to despair, Fox hits that sweet spot between realism and idealism."
Chris Barsanti, Film Journal International
"A sprawling chronicle of despair - and hope...A fascinating, heartbreaking and ultimately inspiring ride...Highly engaging."
Andrew O'Hehir, Salon
"How to Let Go says all the right things about an unnerving peril, and the various ways some highly motivated people are trying to combat it."
Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times
"Highly entertaining, imaginative, and often emotional...A stylish cinematic tour de force."
Ed Rampell, Sierra Club Magazine
"A dynamic doc with an insistently hopeful resolution."
Maurie Alioff, POV Magazine
"A one-word assessment of this documentary: Tough. As in, tough to watch. Tough to consider. Tough to ignore."
Ken Jaworowski, The New York Times
"The culmination of disaster footage and shocking talk from scientists make this compulsive viewing."
Roger Catlin, rogercatlin.com
"Informative, emotional, intermittently powerful, intriguing...A sobering, solid film that raises indisputable evidence and proof that we are in the throes of a climate crisis."
Mike Ward, Should I See It?
"A wide-ranging and ultimately joyous documentary about environmental activism...Makes for an energetic and positive story about actions real people can take to engage in this important issue."
The Salt Lake Tribune
"As we try to help our students and neighbors wrestle with the despair we may all see from the loss of species, places, and people to rising seas, stronger storms, and other impacts from climate change, this is the movie to show. Too often, we can be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the challenge and become mired in apathy - this film uses humor and wisdom to move from well-informed futility to action guided by courage and community."
Dr. Ninian Stein, Professor of Environmental Studies, Tufts University, Director of Earthos Institute
"How do we teach in the face of climate change?...For Fox, the film's central question is 'What can climate change NOT destroy?' His answers - creativity, civil disobedience, resilience, and innovation - go beyond buzzwords with the stories of the struggles he recounts...He talks about emotions in a way that is inspiring and that does not presuppose any particular perspective as a starting point."
Julie Sze, Films for the Feminist Classroom
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English SDH Captions for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
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The film's website
Awards and Festivals
Sundance Film Festival
Broadcast on HBO
Documentary Environmental Advocacy Award, Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital
Green Spark Award, American Conservation Film Festival
Audience Choice Award, Visions/Voices of Nature Environmental Film Festival
United Nations Association Film Festival, Stanford
Wild & Scenic Film Festival
Las Vegas Film Festival
Darwin International Film Festival
Sarasota Film Festival
San Francisco Green Film Festival
Reel Earth Environmental Film Festival
Eckerd College Environmental Film Festival
One Earth Film Festival
ReFrame Film Festival
Environmental Film Festival at UW-Stevens Point
Greater Farmington Film Festival
Thin Line Fest
South African Eco Film Festival
Belleville Downtown DocFest
Barbados Independent Film Festival
Climate Change/Global Warming
Forests and Rainforests
Latin American Studies
Oceans and Coasts
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