Dear Future Children
They want to change the course of History, but they probably should start changing the mind of their neighbour first. In a nutshell, this is the essence of my impression of Dear Future Children, and this is the reason why I would not like to be the future children of two of the three activists in focus here, because I will play with harder fascism their romantic game of playing the global hero, the anarchist, the victim, the rebel. I mean, playing the disastrous game of confronting police can be a necessity in countries where the opinion of the majority has no meaning anymore, but in weak democracies such as in Chile or Hong-Kong, one should use one’s own education to find more efficacious strategies, first of all addressing oneself directly to the conformist masses that, against their interests, tend to accept liberticide and authoritarian regimes.
The case of the Ugandan story is different, insofar as its young hero is more involved in campaigning than in violent struggles, and yet she also appears frustrated by her own speaking, asking for more action. Action however, dear activists, is a Sisyphus’ job when it is not coupled with strong collective consciousness and motivation, exactly as command or prohibition are. One should never cease to use words instead of stones. Therefore, the constructive example of the Ugandan girl is a moment of hope in a film that otherwise conveys a desperate message, for it constitutes the portrait of an educated and informed young generation that acts out of despair and neglects intelligence – no more David against Goliath, but little Goliaths against the Leviathan…
Dear Future Children tells the sad story of some well-intentioned but anachronistic beautiful souls, of a generation that is (already) as old-fashioned as Bakunin or the Che (and Böhm himself, his young age notwithstanding, actually uses the quite conservative filmic language of mass journalism and its cliched emotions). This is a sad reality that one would like to forget, hoping for a future where humanism and democracy will be a matter of intelligence. The film also tells the story of other young people around the world, that work to concretely defend the well-being of the planet: as the almost isolated Ugandan girl is the representative of another category of people that founds communities, creates parties, proposes solutions, speaks with the political rivals, connects with real people and gives the example. Through what I see as an essential distinction, the idea itself of “activism” should be sharply redefined, so as to avoid the catastrophic misunderstanding according to which changes should come from rioting in the streets.
Text: Giuseppe Di Salvatore
First published: March 14, 2021