The poster for the documentary Tomorrow
The poster for the documentary Tomorrow

The documentary “Tomorrow” (“Demain”), directed by Cyril Dion and Mélanie Laurent, was released in 2015. It won the César Award as the Best Documentary.

“Tomorrow” is divided into five chapters: agriculture, energy, economy, democracy and education. This means that it addresses not only the challenges directly affecting the environment and sustainability but also everything around it and regulates human beings’ lives in civil society. From this point of view, it tires to offer a fairly complete view of what’s waiting for us in the coming decades and how our society could evolve.

Often, this type of documentary focuses on the problems that affect the world of this third millennium’s start with various possible future catastrophes. Instead, “Tomorrow” shows solutions to various issues that are at least being experimented if not fully operational. In essence, it’s a documentary in which there’s no preaching but people who work daily to improve things.

In various parts of the world, there are people who are working on sustainable, practical solutions, not big theories. Agricultural techniques that bring actual results, electrical production through solar panels, wind turbines or other renewable solutions. They’re all real examples associated with the local economy and include companies because there are solutions that are useful but can also bring revenue or at least savings for those who implement them.

Several examples, particularly in energy production, are based on technological advances. This shows the willingness to take advantage of certain advanced technologies to gain practical benefits. It’s a pragmatic approach far different from that of certain groups that identify sustainability with some more or less masked forms of luddism, an approach that I personally find short-sighted.

The economic side is important along with the other practical sides because it shows that sustainability is not an abstract goal but can be a good part of a business context where revenue and expenses are key elements. A serious planning can take advantage of new technologies that offer growing possibilities and dropping costs to have sustainable productions.

Precisely because economy is a key element, “Tomorrow” also shows some experiments with alternative and/or complementary currencies and how some local economic networks work. Again, those are not utopias that exist only in some philosophical text but ideas applied in practice by companies that need to have certain revenue if they don’t want to shut down. Small-scale solutions are implemented but economic networks don’t necessarily have to be confined to small regions.

The last chapters of “Tomorrow” are about democracy and education because society has to evolve in these aspects too in order to face the today’s world’s challenges. In some areas of the world there are direct democracy experiments and different approaches to education. In particular, the documentary focuses on the Finnish system, based on innovative pedagogical solutions with positive results that are internationally recognized.

Cyril Dion and Mélanie Laurent decided to create “Tomorrow” after reading a study about the possible extinction of humanity by 2100. Despite this catastrophic starting point, their documentary has a positive approach, showing us a possible world in which humans can live on Earth without destroying it. They show real and applicable examples and that’s why it seemed to me an excellent documentary and I recommend watching it to everyone.

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