Shy Nerd: Greta Thunberg Says New Documentary ‘I Am Greta’ Shows Her True Self

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Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg has said that I Am Greta, a new documentary that follows her everyday life for an entire year, accurately portrays who she really is. Her comments were made during her virtual appearance at last week’s Venice Film Festival, where the documentary premiered. 

Swedish climate activist and face of the Fridays for Future global student movement, Greta Thunberg, says she is pleased with the documentary’s portrayal of herself as a “shy nerd”. Directed by Nathan Grossman, the film follows Thunberg’s daily life for a year, chronicling her journey from being a lone school striker outside the Swedish parliament in 2018 to her travels all over the world to demand climate action from world leaders. 

You did succeed in framing me as myself and not the person that the media frames me to be, not the angry, naive child who sits in the United Nations general assembly screaming at world leaders. Because that’s not the person I am,” said Thunberg, who appeared at the festival via a video link. 

“So, I think he definitely made me seem like a more shy, nerdy person, which is the person that I am.”

When the production of the film first began, Grossman said that Thunberg, who was 15 years old at the time, would rise to become a leader in the global climate campaign and inspire millions of students all over the world to take to the streets to ask for change. 

You did succeed in framing me as myself and not the person that the media frames me to be, not the angry, naive child who sits in the United Nations general assembly screaming at world leaders. Because that’s not the person I am.

Greta Thunberg

Speaking to Reuters in an interview, Grossman said that the goal of the movie was to “bring the viewer closer to her” and take them on an adventure of how it feels “to go from nothing to become this very famous climate activist”. 

Greta added during her appearance at the Venice film festival that I Am Greta manages to refute some of the false accusations that she has faced over the past years, especially some critics who have suggested that she has been manipulated by other people. 

Referring to these claims as “conspiracy theories” about her not being about to “think for myself…speak for myself or someone else writes my speeches,” Thunberg said that the film demonstrates how Thunberg has always made her own choices even as she rose to international stardom. 

In the movie you can see that that is not actually true and that I do, of course, speak for myself and I decide everything for myself.

Greta Thunberg

“In the movie you can see that that is not actually true and that I do, of course, speak for myself and I decide everything for myself.”

Earlier this month, Thunberg returned to school after her “gap year” of campaigning. Her activism has won her multiple awards, including being named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year, breaking records as the youngest person ever to win the award, and PETA’s Youth Role Model of the Year

While the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic this year has meant that mass rallies and in-person strikes have been largely put on hold, Thunberg has asked students all over the world to go digital with their weekly strikes with the hashtag #ClimateStrikeOnline. She has also criticised politicians in Europe for failing to put climate and sustainability policies at the heart of coronavirus recovery packages. 


Lead image courtesy of Virginia Mayo / AP.


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