An audience gathered outside of Dublin to watch The Letter: A Message for Our Earth in the Áras an Uachtaráin, the official residence of Ireland’s President Michael D. Higgins, and concluded the evening with applause and mutual reflection on what it means to care for our common home.
President Higgins himself celebrated the movie with the conviction to transform the film’s message into a call for urgent and collective action for the future of the planet.
Wonderful film by the very talented Nicolas Brown – https://t.co/3tdztOiILi – on why we must address the climate crisis. Sincere thanks to @PresidentIRL for hosting the launch tonight on behalf of @LaudatoSiMvmt and @trocaire Please take time to watch this beautiful film https://t.co/nXSQKl145p
— Finola Finnan (@finola_finnan) November 30, 2022
“As a society, we must regain our resonance with the world – with nature and each other – if we are to have any hope of avoiding the bequeathment to the next generations of a hostile and volatile Planet Earth,” said President Higgins in his remarks.
“This film, The Letter – A Message for our Earth, is based on Pope Francis’ groundbreaking encyclical Laudato Si’ – on care for our common home’ and its contribution to the debate on the importance of connecting ecology, economics, social justice, and ethics is an important one.”
The President’s hospitality included Laudato Si’ Movement chair Dr. Lorna Gold and film director Nicholas Brown. A coalition of other organizations, including Laudato Si’ Movement itself, Faith Invest, and Trócaire, an overseas development agency dedicated to dismantling poverty and injustice, also worked diligently to make the screening possible in the Áras an Uachtaráin.
Dr. Lorna Gold, who also appears in the film, said the movie depended on the stories of real people and hard truths, reflecting the spirit of dialogue and call for decisive action of the screening itself. In fact, “this film really brings home the present reality of climate change and how it is affecting so many in different ways,” she emphasized.
The screening of The Letter comes after The Irish Times published research earlier this month from the University of Notre Dame’s Global Adaptation Initiative, highlighting the climate crisis’ greatest risks for Ireland, including challenges to energy and fresh water infrastructure as well as a shortage of medical professionals amid extreme weather events.
Additionally, days before the event The Irish Times shared its own coverage of the coastal erosion of St. Louis, Senegal, a threat explored intimately in the film through the story of the protagonist Arouna.
Brown, who helped capture such crises in the movie, shared that “After making The Letter, I now believe that the greatest existential threats we’ve ever faced as a species – biodiversity loss and climate change – will only be solved once the human race unites behind a cause greater than ourselves.”