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Not since the 1960s have demonstrations hit the headlines as often as they have in the last few years. Some of it’s peaceful, some of it’s far from it, but in the 21st-century there’s been more to rally against than ever before, wherever it may be. Dear Future Children follows three young rebels with a cause in three countries thousands of miles apart.
The stories and struggles of Reyna, who lives in Santiago, Chile, Hilda from Uganda, and Pepper in Hong Kong, provide an unprecedented insight into activism in today’s world. Danger lurks – quite literally – around every corner.
Chile is extremely wealthy, and yet somehow the working-classes are barely putting food on the table – and yes, they all work hard for such slim pickings, alongside a heavy-handed military presence. The days of the Pinochet dictatorship are long gone, yet in a sense remain. Meanwhile, Uganda is suffering the effects of climate change as you read this, laying waste to livelihoods. As for Hong Kong, the consequences of its shattered relationship with China have been beamed worldwide. All three of our heroines (they really are) are experiencing the pain of their respective homelands firsthand; compelled, almost forced to act.
It’s sometimes said that parts of Britain are akin to third world nations. This documentary firmly backs up the fact that they’re not, and that we’re quite lucky in comparison. Maybe this explains why the UK has never really been fertile ground for extreme protest – there’s never been much in the way of extremities to protest about. No-one would claim issues like government sleaze are to be taken lightly, but it does put it into perspective.
I went into Dear Future Children expecting it to be a flurry of interviews with the next Greta Thunberg, and not a lot else in terms of substance. I certainly didn’t think we’d get to focus on such a diversity of issues spanning the globe. It shows that, while most of us have different awareness levels of what’s being raised here, they’re all as important as each other in their own way, whether they’re international or domestic in nature. Despite the disparities in terms of media coverage, they’re all equally newsworthy.
The editing’s a little bit haphazard from time to time, although the direction keeps the tempo travelling nicely along. There’s also the right amount of time and focus spent on each individual at different stages of the film, so that we never lose track of the other two, or reach saturation point with any of the trio’s tales.
Dear Future Children will shock, sadden and inspire you. Whether that’s to become the next Rayen, Hilda or Pepper, or to just sit up and take notice, it’s now on UK release.
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