Take One Action: Films with a youth focus

At Take One Action Film Festival, young people are leading the way – here are six films from this year's programme with youth at the forefront

Feature by Jamie Dunn | 09 Sep 2019
  • Gods of Molenbeek

Crippling student debts, exorbitant rents, record youth unemployment, a pitiless gig economy, a right-wing government voted in by their parents, freedom of movement crushed by a looming Brexit and a global climate emergency happening before their eyes – it’s no wonder young people feel burned out. This year’s Take One Action programme, however, suggests Gen Y and Z aren’t taking these obstacles lying down. 

Many of this year’s films allow you to see life from the point-of-view of young people on the margins. Take Tiny Souls, from Palestinian-Jordanian director Dina Naser, which offers a child’s-eye-view of the refugee crisis from the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan by following the lives of a trio of young refugees over four years (Filmhouse, 22 Sep, 5.45pm; CCA, 23 Sep, 7.30pm).

In Anbessa, Mo Scarpelli takes a more dream-like approach in her portrait of a ten-year-old Ethiopian boy, examining how his emotional state compares to the stark political and economic realities reshaping Ethiopia (GFT, 25 Sep, 5.45pm; Filmhouse, 26 Sep, 5.50pm).

Even younger are the protagonists of Reetta Huhtanen’s Gods of Molenbeek, which follows two six-year-old best pals from Belgium’s poverty-afflicted Molenbeek district as they muse on myriad topics, from Thor’s hammer to religious dogma to their place in the universe (Filmhouse, 21 Sep, 5.30pm).

Several films in Take One Action’s programme are concerned with the escalating climate crisis and highlight the role youth activism plays in pushing the climate agenda forward. In Grit, for example, a young woman finds her voice as an activist when her community is devastated by a fracking disaster (Filmhouse, 20 Sep, 5.50pm; CCA, 21 Sep, 7.30pm).

Inventing Tomorrow, meanwhile, follows passionate teenage science students from around the world who are coming up with inventive solutions to myriad environmental threats (City of Glasgow College, 20 Sep, 2pm; Filmhouse, 27 Sep, 5.50pm).

The powerful Scheme Birds, from Swedish duo Ellen Fiske and Ellinor Hallin, concerns the life of young people much closer to home. Like the best of the films in Take One Action, this lyrical portrait of the turbulent life of a teenage girl from Motherwell is unflinching in its honesty and heartbreaking in its compassion (GFT, 24 Sep, 5.45pm; Filmhouse, 25 Sep, 6pm; MacRobert Centre, 11 Oct, 6pm; Dundee Contemporary Arts, 17 Oct, 6pm).