by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
You’ve heard of celebrities embroiling themselves in politics. The news cycle is polluted by examples of Hollywood’s politicization, as studio execs and celebrities have decided that demonstrating their allegiance to progressive causes is more gratifying than making great art. Politicians might as well make the movies — and now they are.
Appropriately named to remind audiences to remain seated until credits roll, the climate change documentary “To the End” debuted in movie theaters nationwide on Dec. 9. The trailer introduces four progressive leaders, each representing a different contribution to what is depicted as a grassroots environmental movement among the younger generation: Alexandra Rojas, a political strategist; Rhiana Gunn-Wright, a climate policy writer; Varshini Prakash, a community activist; and New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a U.S. government official.
The congresswoman fulfills the film’s leading role, and she is shown entering the Capitol to “get her hands dirty” and pass legislation that will be the “moonshot of our generation.” Accompanied by an uplifting song, shots of miscellaneous climate change protests are interspersed with sound bites from the four leaders.
Audio stating that “the media is expecting us to fail” plays, followed by a text from RobertEbert.com’s Nick Allen, describing the film as “set to ignite more Americans to take action.” Americans were not ignited to act, especially to watch this film. After debuting on more than 120 screens on the weekend it was released, “To the End” came in 33rd place overall at the box office, garnering less than $10,000 across all theaters, meaning the movie made roughly $80 per location. …
… [T]here are several one-star audience reviews, with one user describing the film as what would be produced if “…a group of middle school kids with no knowledge of science tried to make a climate change movie.”