The life of an independent filmmaker is shrouded in precarity. This is why so many of us eventually give up on our hopes and dreams of sharing untold stories with the world. The rest of us, the ones who continue, are either trust fund babies, Michael Moore, filmmakers with a passion and a day job, or those who are led by blind faith that a better world is possible. I’m the latter.
Fundraising for this project has not been easy, but this story was like a magnet for my blind faith. As an American Millennial, I’ve always felt this unease with the world around me. My generation was born into the BOOM of technology, education, entitlement, and a lack of human connection with ourselves and the natural world. And while you’re just a Google search away from hating all Millennials, the truth is we were handed a mess from the generations that came before us.
We live in a world where:
- The most educated generation is dealing with unprecedented numbers of underemployment.
- Donald Trump is running for President.
- Refugees are only growing in numbers.
- The manufacturers who make our lovely clothes are killing people and whole ecosystems.
- We’re standing on the precipice of the sixth mass extinction.
- Climate change is causing total chaos.
- U.S. citizens were handed a huge debt that is not only hanging over their heads and their children’s heads, but is also causing a ripple effect of social programs being completely decimated.
When will my generation wake up and see that we can change this? When will we realize that someone will always pay the price for these policies, systems, and the status quo? When will we fight for our hypothetical (or real) children and grandchildren? I’ve always felt that if people, regular people, actively started working in the interests of their community, the interests of the planet we all share, then our society would look very different. Instead, most of us are still paralyzed in the routine of acting in the interests of those who pacify us with entertainment, competition, and the accumulation of possessions. This all might sound very radical, but I promise I’m totally normal: I live in American society, I have a smartphone, I like things, buying boots makes me happy, etc. It’s not about choosing between two extremes. In Ireland, there are completely normal families, working people, who are using the human right to water as a catalyst for peace, prosperity, and humanity. That’s what’s happening in Ireland. That’s what’s happening in Detroit. I’ve witnessed it.
I’m making 100 Litres because I believe we can all learn from the human rights campaign in Ireland, setting a positive example of how grassroots movements can grow and change the world into one that is more democratic and cares about humanity. Hundreds of thousands of Irish citizens have stepped out of their cozy shells, opened their eyes, and started working for a better future for this planet and their children. The stories I am planning to share with you, I’m sharing them because they provide hope. It’s easy to fall down a dark rabbit hole of despair once you open your eyes to the ills of our world. People need to be empowered, rather than have terrifying stats crammed down their throats.
What’s happening in Ireland is truly history in the making. And, the best part is something we often take for granted is what sparked this massive movement – water. When I say massive, I mean it:
“Right2Water has become the biggest social movement in the history of the state. It’s the biggest per capita campaign protest movement in the world. We got 200,000 people on the streets last year and we have a country of 4.5 million people. How many people would that be in Washington? It’s never happened. It would blow, per head of population, the Civil Rights marches in the 1960s out of the water.” ~Brendan Ogle
When you do the rough math, 200,000 people hitting the streets of Dublin is roughly 5% of the population. Comparing that to the U.S. population: imagine 15 million people gathering in Washington, D.C. On top of that, 50% of these protesters have zero background in politics or activism. Picture whole families protesting, a carnival atmosphere filled with singing and laughter, and you’ve likely found yourself in the middle of a Right2Water/Right2Change demonstration.
I’m making this film because I believe Americans can pull something like this off. Whether it’s in your community, state, or nation, I believe that people power is the only way to set things right in this world. We decide our fates. Remember: It’s not just a Movie. It’s a Movement.
To learn more about Right2Water/Right2Change, check out their recent blog post and year in review.