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.
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Netflix Rating: 3.8
Rotten Tomatoes® Scores
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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.
Peter Howell, Toronto Star  full review
Climate-change documentaries are almost always disturbing, but "The Island President" communicates a special urgency.
John Hartl, Seattle Times  full review
[An] engaging, gorgeously photographed documentary.
Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune  full review
Nasheed is indeed inspirational, a cool-headed but passionate and courageous guy. You end up wishing a lot more leaders were like this guy.
Tom Long, Detroit News  full review
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.
Ann Hornaday, Washington Post  full review
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.
Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor  full review
"The Island President"is heartening and unsettling by turns.
Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times  full review
"The Island President" is a mostly compelling documentary about that rarest of breeds, an appealing politician.
Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle  full review
"The Island President" personalizes the threat of global warming, and nationalizes it too, by focusing on Mohamed Nasheed, the former president of the Maldives.
Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal  full review
Viewers get an eye-opening look at behind-the-scenes wrangling.
V.A. Musetto, New York Post  full review
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.
John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter  full review
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.
A.O. Scott, New York Times  full review
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.
Keith Uhlich, Time Out New York  full review
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.
Derek Adams, Time Out  full review
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.
Melissa Anderson, Village Voice  full review
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  • Release Year: 2011
  • MPAA Rating: PG
  • Runtime: 101 min
  • Available From: Apr 23, 2013
  • Queued by: 303 people
Directed By
Jon Shenk
Mohamed Nasheed

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