By Charlie Chilufya, S.J
Tomorrow, YouTube Originals will release the grand documentary film, The Letter, telling the story of the Laudato Si’ encyclical letter and the unfolding ecological emergency of our time and how it represents the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor. The Letter is the fruit of a few years of work of the Laudato Si’ Movement in partnership with Off the Fence (Oscar-winning producers of My Octopus Teacher) and the Vatican.
What is The Letter about? What are the documentary film trailers telling us about The Letter? Seven years after the Encyclical letter, Laudato Si was released by Pope Francis, in 2015, “the cry of the earth” and the “cry of the poor” subdued by greed and indifference have refused to be silenced; they can still be heard and even more powerfully now with the increasing intensity and frequency of climate change events: droughts, floods, wildfires, hurricanes, deforestation. They all keep getting worse and worse.
In the documentary film four voices that have gone unheard in global conversations the COPs, UN meetings on the environment and other big meetings have been invited to an unprecedented dialogue with Pope Francis. The voices from Senegal, the Amazon, India, and Hawai’i, bring hitherto ignored perspective and solutions from the poor, the indigenous, the youth, and wildlife into a conversation with the author of Laudato Si himself, Pope Francis. The Letter is replete with powerfully moving personal stories alongside the latest information about the planetary crisis and the toll it’s taking on nature and people.
“It will be big. Truly, a historical moment. Our movement’s largest initiative so far.
Pope Francis is the film’s star. He generously spent time with us during the production, sharing his deep wisdom,” Tomás Insua, the Executive Director of the Laudato Si’ Movement wrote last week in a Mail Chimp announcement of the documentary film.
The voices from the periphery represent vicitms of the ecological crisis that normally are not part of climate discussions and negotiations.
The film will premiere in Vatican City on October 4, the Feast of S Francis, the “Il Poverello,”, the little poor one. The Feast Day of St Francis marks the closure of Season of Creation. The Letter will be available on YouTube, free of charge, that same day.
Laudato sii, o mi’ Signore. Laudato sii, o mi’ Signore. E per tutte le tue creature, per il sole e per la luna, per le stelle e per il vento e per l’acqua e per il fuoco.