“To the End” is an American documentary film that was recently released on Amazon Prime and Apple TV on Dec. 9. Filmed over the course of four years, “To the End” captures the emergence of a new wave of leaders and the movement behind the most sweeping climate change legislation in U.S. history.
The four inspirational women of color who are followed in this documentary are U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, activist Varshini Prakash, climate policy writer Rhiana Gunn-Wright, and political strategist Alexandra Rojas.
“I think all four are heroes for their generation and for mine. Ocasio-Cortez, Prakash,
Rojas, and Gunn-Wright have devoted their life to helping move the political dial to prevent the worst outcomes of climate change,” said Dr. David Luesink, history professor at Sacred Heart University.
The documentary follows the effort of these four women to change the narrative around climate change, and they used the crisis the world is enduring as an opportunity to build up a better society and spread their message.
Throughout their battle, they engage in protests that lead to the halls of Congress and speeches in front of supportive audiences.
One major piece of the documentary is the Green New Deal, which was a congressional resolution that lays out a grand plan for tackling climate change.
Originally introduced by Senator Edward J. Markey and Ocasio-Cortez, the deal called on the federal government to wean the United States from fossil fuels and curb planet-warming greenhouse gas emission across the economy.
Not only was this a push for a cleaner environment, but it was also about addressing and transforming old policies that have contributed to injustices suffered by frontline communities for decades.
The Green New Deal has not yet passed Congress. Opponents of the deal argue that it would cost every American household between $26,100 and $65,300 per year.
Senior Kimmy Johnson has read about the movement in the past, and after seeing the trailer for the documentary, she felt passionate about the topics at hand.
“We’re taking a huge step in the right direction,” Johnson said. “Not only was a huge impact made, but it was done by four powerful women of color.”
Before releasing on streaming services, the documentary debuted in movie theaters. Not seeing much success, it only accumulated $10,000 across all box offices.
Although it was graded an 88% “fresh” critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, some in the audience did not seem to agree with the high score.
“I feel like I must have watched a completely different movie than the ones the critics watched,” said one online anonymous review. “It was absolutely terrible, and it actually made me dislike Alexandria Cortez after it was all over.”
The documentary maintains a score of 11% on Rotten Tomatoes in terms of audience opinion.
As the fight continues to push for more climate change legislation, the four women highlighted in this documentary continue to be prominent leaders in the battle. Near the end of the piece, it is emphasized that there is still a great deal of work to be done, and the topic is still one that is argued heavily by the general public.
“When you’re one step away from success, that’s when they want you to think you’re furthest,” said Ocasio-Cortez. “But trust me, you are close.”