How To Change The World draws on interviews with the key players and hitherto unseen archive footage, which brings these extraordinary characters and their intense, sometimes eccentric and often dangerous world alive. Somehow the group transcended the contradictions of its members to undertake some of the most courageous and significant environmental protests in history.
The film spans the period from the first expedition to enter the nuclear test zone in 1971 through the first whale and seal campaigns, and ends in 1979, when, victims of their own success, the founders gave away their central role to create Greenpeace International. At its heart is Bob Hunter, a charismatic journalist who somehow managed to bind together the ‘mystics and the mechanics’ into a group with a single purpose, often at huge cost to himself. The story is framed by his first person narrative, drawn from his writings and journals about the group, voiced alongside animations based on his early comics.
How To Change The World is an intimate portrait of the group’s original members and of activism itself—idealism vs. pragmatism, principle vs. compromise. They agreed that a handful of people could change the world; they just couldn’t always agree on how to do it.