Laura Nix’s 2017 film, “Inventing Tomorrow” leaves one with an impression that there is a slight possibility in the future the world will see some ecological improvement.
Ostensibly the film tracks teams of young teenage scientists from Hawaii, Indonesia, Mexico and India who are competing in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). These kids are not only brainy but committed to environmental repair. They must devise a scientific study to support their thesis.
For the Indonesians it is reducing the lead that is a by-product of oceanic tin mining that is destroying the ocean they mine in. For the Indians is combatting the sewage and phosphorus contamination destroying Bangalore’s lakes. For the Hawaiians it is identifying the extent of arsenic contamination worsened by tsunamis and for the Mexicans it is developing a paint that actually captures and purifies smog.
We see them in their home countries preparing for the competition and get a good glimpse of the problems they are tackling.
There are teams’ of 1800 students from 78 countries participating in ISEF at a convention centre in Los Angeles. Of course, not all of them capture prizes but the search for a prize is not the theme of the documentary but rather the dedication of some of the younger generation to improving the ecological balance of the earth. ISEF is a chance for them to extend their social network irrespective of social, economic, ethnic or religious backgrounds.
These young scientists are hopeful, excited and dedicated and in a sense many of us may be their hands as they try and save an ailing planet. Good luck to them and us!
(Inventing Tomorrow”, U.S.A., 2017, 87 minutes, Various languages with English subtitles, Director Laura Nix, Starts January 18th at Ted Rogers Hot Docs Cinema in Ontario).
You can watch the trailer here https://vimeo.com/28016357