Review: Thank You for the Rain (2017)

Thank You for the Rain (2017)

Directed by: Julia Dahr | 87 minutes | documentary

In recent years, in addition to an increase in temperature, there has also been an increase in the number of documentaries that denounce climate change. Yet few make the consequences of this so tangible as ‘Thank You for the Rain’. Kenyan farmer Kisilu Musya plays the leading role in this documentary by Norwegian director Julia Dahr. During the first steps of producing a film about climate change, the Norwegian in Kenya comes into contact with a local farmer. She hands him a camera to visualize the effects of a prolonged drought. During a violent storm, Kisilu’s house loses its roof and that’s when he realizes it can’t go on like this. He will be fully committed to planting more trees in order to combat the effects of climate change. The maker then decided to hang her film on him and that turned out to be a good choice.

Kisilu is a likeable man and his passion for change is genuine and heartwarming. After a long period of drought, there is a storm that almost destroyed his (already) ramshackle house. Instead of getting lost in hopelessness, Kisilu even manages to find the positive side of the story. He considers himself lucky because it could have been worse and no one was injured. Yet from this moment on he is serious and he visits surrounding villages to convince them of the importance of planting trees. He does this so passionately that he is allowed to speak through Julia Dahr at a conference in Norway.

Here the contrast becomes eerily clear in a few shots. While Kisilu in Kenya was still worried about whether his family would have enough to eat, in Norway the choice of different types of cola alone is abundant. For the viewer, this is the moment when the contrast really becomes tangible. This contrast continues to be present in all crucial moments of ‘Thank You for the Rain’. Kisilu is also allowed to speak at the climate conference in Paris, where all world leaders come together to develop a climate policy. While political games are mainly played at a high level, Kisilu is genuinely amazed because he lives in a situation in which the consequences of these choices are immediately felt and that any choice, or lack thereof, can directly endanger the life of his family. bring.

That is exactly what makes ‘Thank You for the Rain’ so strong: the contrast between political choices on the one hand and their consequences on the other. Add to that the endearing character of Kisilu and you have a strong film that convinces without being too preachy.

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