TIFF: 'He Named Me Malala' Helmer Davis Guggenheim Wants 'Inconvenient Truth'-Like Reaction
"The third step is now we have to really take action, and that's a really tough existential step. What are we gonna do? Not just the bad guys, but the good guys too: am I doing enough?"
He Named Me Malala helmer Davis Guggenheim, who also directed 2006's An Inconvenient Truth, is generally encouraged by the conversation around global warming.
"I think there's an overall acceptance that climate change is real, and that we're causing it," he told The Hollywood Reporter at Toronto Film Festival screening, "The third step is now we have to really take action, and that's a really tough existential step. What are we gonna do? Not just the bad guys, but the good guys too: am I doing enough?"
He's hoping the world will have a similar reaction to his latest release, which tells the story of Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai who was shot by the Taliban for speaking out in favor of education for women.
"Movies do one part — they can capture people for a moment and get people invested for a moment, but it's really up to the leaders that are doing things to continue that," he explained, adding that 66 million girls are currently not in school. "It can't do everything, but it can nudge people in the right direction."
He's already optimistic. "The theme of the movie is how an ordinary person can find their voice and how powerful you can be if you express that," Guggenheim said. "Girls all over the world respond to this movie really well, and connect to this idea that speaking up is a vital part of their lives. … Girls all over the world confront [the same issue], which is, do they feel equal? Do they feel strong enough to speak out?"
Still, the documentary can teach viewers of all ages, especially showing fellow parents, "Maybe I could be a little bit more courageous. Maybe I could give my daughter a little more encouragement."
Watch THR's chat with Guggenheim in the video above.