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Normal Is Over is a documentary connecting the dots, drawing clear and accessible connections between global environmental issues that are more typically approached as unique problems.

Environmental films about the end of our planet are a dime a dozen, but award-winning filmmaker Renée Scheltema travelled the world in search of ways to drive sustainable change.  “So many documentaries are about the drama – they leave you depressed. I wanted to touch on solutions” said Scheltema. The outcome is Normal is Over, an epic documentary about everyday people making a difference. 

But Normal Is Over isn’t just a documentary. It is a compelling, controversial, but most of all empowering film — it’s a call to action for all of us to not only talk about the problem, but engage in conversations around the solutions. “However in order to offer solutions, you have to analyse the problem firstEconomic growth seems to be the elephant in the room. Politicians always promise us growth, and jobs but we can’t grow indefinitely on a finite planet, with finite resources…Of course there is room for growth in sustainable ways, like solar” says filmmaker Renée Scheltema during an interview with 350 Africa.

A for-profit economy based on interest-yielding loans (especially compounded interest) rapidly drives up the need to use resources while also concentrating more and more money into fewer hands, leading to both poverty and pollution”, she continued.

Scheltema is an investigative journalist and filmmaker who deserves to be heard, and this is a powerful film that anyone who cares about the environmental degradation of our planet, our home, will want to watch.

Climate change and species extinction are symptoms of a deeper financial and economic system problem”, says Scheltema.  Linking the economy to environmental challenges is a fresh angle on a problem that seems to only get worse.

Four and a half years in the making, and largely self-funded, Scheltema travelled the world, as a one-woman crew to interview a small army of experts in sustainability, offering solutions on a variety of levels, and hope.

Normal Is Over is being shown at a number of film festivals this year, including in the U.S., Spain, Portugal, The Netherlands, Malaysia, Russia, and China.

The film will be screened at the Bioscope in Johannesburg from next month. You can also watch it online here.

For a movie that so proudly trumpets the potential of people, Normal Is Over calls on us to demand – and build – a better world.

Hope you watch it!