The Island President Reviews

  • The hope that infuses this movie makes it all the more upsetting to walk out of the theater and contemplate a looming disaster that the world's leaders seem unable to prevent.

    A.O. Scott — New York Times

  • Shenk expertly weaves Nasheed's extraordinary personal story together with the Maldives' breathtaking natural beauty and a Capra-esque tale of dogged idealism and political courage to create wonderfully vivid cinematic portraiture.

    Ann Hornaday — Washington Post

  • Shenk's film is close enough to his subject to catch the leader who rails against carbon-dioxide emissions puffing on cigarettes in parking lots.

    Melissa Anderson — Village Voice

  • "The Island President" personalizes the threat of global warming, and nationalizes it too, by focusing on Mohamed Nasheed, the former president of the Maldives.

    Joe Morgenstern — Wall Street Journal

  • [An] engaging, gorgeously photographed documentary.

    Colin Covert — Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • Nasheed is indeed inspirational, a cool-headed but passionate and courageous guy. You end up wishing a lot more leaders were like this guy.

    Tom Long — Detroit News

  • Viewers get an eye-opening look at behind-the-scenes wrangling.

    V.A. Musetto — New York Post

  • The Island President is an important portrait of a determined man standing fast in a place where the ground is literally shifting beneath his feet.

    Peter Howell — Toronto Star

  • A portrait of defiant optimism as a last-chance means of survival, Jon Shenk's The Island President offers not only a Mandela-like tale of political heroism but a much-needed perspective on climate change.

    John DeFore — Hollywood Reporter

  • "The Island President"is heartening and unsettling by turns.

    Kenneth Turan — Los Angeles Times

  • One only hopes that the documentary will help advance Nasheed's mission and inspire others to join arms out of shared ecological concern.

    Nathan Southern — TV Guide's Movie Guide

  • A fascinating look at an extraordinary personality.

    Radheyan Simonpillai — NOW Toronto

  • The haunting "How to Disappear Completely" plays over the closing credits. If Nasheed isn't able to wake up the world to his country's plight, in a few decades, that could be the new Maldives national anthem.

    Rob Thomas — Capital Times (Madison, WI)

  • If you are in a fight, you want this man on your side. He is charismatic, brave and most of all entirely believes in what he is what he is doing. I'm not sure he know the meaning of the word compromise.

    Louise Gray — Daily Telegraph

  • Climate-change documentaries are almost always disturbing, but "The Island President" communicates a special urgency.

    John Hartl — Seattle Times

  • As an insight into the cynical nature of world politics, The Island President is wonky but fascinating stuff ... But as a testament to mankind's willingness to change... it's deeply dispiriting.

    Jeff Meyers — Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

  • The film clearly sides with Nasheed's David as he battles Goliath-like businesses and governments, but it never loses sight of the fact that his efforts to preserve the fragile beauty of the sinking Maldives may already be doomed.

    Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) — St. Paul Pioneer Press

  • Shenk's tight storytelling makes for a gripping film that delivers the ugly, at times ennobling, truth.

    Alison Gang — San Diego Union-Tribune

  • A socially engaged documentary with more heart than head, this slice of boosterism focusing on the exiled Maldives president achieves unexpected ancillary connection as a ground-floor look at a grand clash of political and governmental wills.

    Brent Simon —

  • An absorbing portrait of a man trying to turn a tide of indifference.


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