Extinction Rebellion has relaunched a short animated film entitled Climate Crisis, and Why We Should Panic. Written, directed and animated by Miritte Ben Yitzchak and voiced by British actress Keira Knightley, it urges us all to Act Now before it is too late.

What's the best way of delivering a message? In fashion, designer's have got there's across via an archaic (or how now it's seen) fashion shows, artists have used colour palettes to reflect emotions and moods and musicians use specific tunes to create ambience. But for environmental activists? Film is the latest for of protests.

Starting 10 days of protests, Extinction Rebellion released an animation explaining why the government must go into crisis mode. Narrated by Kiera Knightly, Climate Crisis: And Why We Should Panic is a two and half minute long animation that's the first in a two part series, hoping to educate those to take action against climate change.

In light of this, we spoke to the director, Miritte Ben Yitzchak as to why an animation was the way to go and how important it is to spread this message.

What drove you to make an animation as opposed to any other film format?
Animation allowed me to avoid the familiar ‘horror spectacles’ of edited footage of disasters – floods, fires, destruction. Instead of a focus on shock, the main task of this piece is to explain. Animation provided the whole range of visual expressions I needed – the ability to discuss the past and present, and depict the future. I believe animation was key to creating a film that resonated with viewers, help them imagine the kind of future we are leaving to our children, and inspire them to take a stand.

Why do you think this is a good way of getting people interested in climate change?
As the film’s purpose is to educate and empower, I wanted it to be accessible to a wider audience, to reach people beyond the usual environmental circles and Extinction Rebellion, including audience that has some knowledge but remains unaware of the urgency. I developed the animation’s look and style with communicability and inclusiveness in mind – it is tactile and appears somewhat hand-made in order to create an emotional connection with the viewers. I hope that the animation will serve as an introduction to the issue, that it will encourage viewers unfamiliar with the climate emergency to learn more about it and get involved.

In your opinion, how easy is it to change one's life to be more environmentally friendly? How important is it we do our little bit?
While we should all invest in reducing our carbon footprints and waste, it is clear that this won’t be enough to resolve the climate and ecological crisis. When there are so many homes that are inaccessible by public transport or cycling, when so many green products are costly, when the building industry, aviation and so on produce massive pollution – what is needed is urgent government action.

Facing the pandemic, governments showed they can use their power to tackle a crisis: radical action is possible. Governments should treat the climate crisis like it is a real crisis, on par with pandemic or war, that needs immediate action. They should implement policies that move away from supporting the fossil fuel industry, and instead fund green energy, and encourage people to change their way of life by providing them with a support system that will allow them to do so. A change is possible – but the window of opportunities to produce such change is limited: according to the UN, we have less than a decade to get our act together.

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