The Island President

This documentary chronicles the extraordinary efforts of Mohamed Nasheed, during his term as president of the Maldive Islands, to fight global warming and prevent rising ocean levels from deluging his low-lying archipelago nation right off the map.
HD Available
Netflix Rating: 3.8
Rotten Tomatoes: Fresh 98%
Critics' score: 98   Audience score: 73   Rotten Tomatoes page
Top Rotten Tomatoes Critics

The Island President is an important portrait of a determined man standing fast in a place where the ground is literally shifting beneath his feet. full review

Peter Howell, Toronto Star

Climate-change documentaries are almost always disturbing, but "The Island President" communicates a special urgency. full review

John Hartl, Seattle Times

[An] engaging, gorgeously photographed documentary. full review

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Nasheed is indeed inspirational, a cool-headed but passionate and courageous guy. You end up wishing a lot more leaders were like this guy. full review

Tom Long, Detroit News

Shenk expertly weaves Nasheed's extraordinary personal story together with the Maldives' breathtaking natural beauty and a Capra-esque tale of dogged idealism and political courage to create wonderfully vivid cinematic portraiture. full review

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

What makes Nasheed's whirligig tactics so urgent is that, unlike most other countries participating in the summit, his own nation is actually in danger of being annihilated by climate change. full review

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor

"The Island President"is heartening and unsettling by turns. full review

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

"The Island President" is a mostly compelling documentary about that rarest of breeds, an appealing politician. full review

Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle

"The Island President" personalizes the threat of global warming, and nationalizes it too, by focusing on Mohamed Nasheed, the former president of the Maldives. full review

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

Viewers get an eye-opening look at behind-the-scenes wrangling. full review

V.A. Musetto, New York Post

A portrait of defiant optimism as a last-chance means of survival, Jon Shenk's The Island President offers not only a Mandela-like tale of political heroism but a much-needed perspective on climate change. full review

John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter

The hope that infuses this movie makes it all the more upsetting to walk out of the theater and contemplate a looming disaster that the world's leaders seem unable to prevent. full review

A.O. Scott, New York Times

It's fascinating to be so close to a then-sitting head of state as he negotiates for his homeland's survival, and the news that Nasheed was recently deposed in a coup by Gayoom loyalists makes the hard-won victories he did secure all the more poignant. full review

Keith Uhlich, Time Out New York

Moves swiftly from political scene-setting to follow Nasheed's every move as he prepares to make an impassioned environmental plea at the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Summit. full review

Derek Adams, Time Out

Shenk's film is close enough to his subject to catch the leader who rails against carbon-dioxide emissions puffing on cigarettes in parking lots. full review

Melissa Anderson, Village Voice
Similars Available on Instant
  • Release Year: 2011
  • MPAA Rating: PG
  • Runtime: 101 min
  • Available From: Apr 23, 2013
  • Queued by: 273 people
Directed By
Jon Shenk
Mohamed Nasheed

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