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The Island President

THE ISLAND PRESIDENT is the story of President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives, a man confronting a problem greater than any other world leader has ever faced—the literal survival of his country and everyone in it.

Director: Jon Shenk
Year: 2011
Time: 101 mins

 The Island President
(2011) on IMDb

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Ways to Influence

Share this film. Give others the chance to learn from Mohamed Nasheed’s message about democracy and climate change. Use Facebook and Twitter to get the word out.

Make an effort to reduce your own greenhouse emissions: plant a garden, buy locally-produced food, reduce heating and electrical use, buy energy-efficient appliances, sign up for renewable energy, use a reel lawnmower and other powerless tools, take shorter showers, ride a bike, walk, carpool, buy secondhand, etc.

Join a global movement that seeks to solve the climate crisis. Get involved at 350.

Support efforts to expose human rights violations in the Maldives and around the world. Amnesty International and the Human Rights Watch have great programs.

Related Articles and Resources

Turmoil in the Maldives: An interview with filmmaker John Shenk

Jon Shenk, along with producers Bonni Cohen and Richard Berge, grew close to former President Mohamed Nasheed after they spent a year and a half filming THE ISLAND PRESIDENT. Shenk shared his admiration for Nasheed and his hopes for the Maldives’s future.

Read more on PBS.org.


Six films addressing the environmental issues of our time.

THE ISLAND PRESIDENT Must Be Seen to Be Believed

“The film has a broader focus than just climate change. The other issue that makes the documentary timely is democracy—particularly democracy in the Muslim world,” reports The Progressive.

Can you survive 216 ft?

National Geographic posts a series of interactive maps that show how coastlines will change if the earth’s ice continues to melt.

Ousted Maldivian President: World failed to defend democracy

In 2012, Mohamed Nasheed told The Guardian that he was forced to relinquish power at gunpoint, and the international community did nothing. Since 2012, U.S.-led investigations have put Nasheed’s article into question.

Amnesty International has described the recent events in the Maldives as a “human rights crisis” of widespread police brutality and arbitrary arrests.


Listen to our playlist with music from the film on Spotify.


350.org is building a global movement to solve the climate crisis.

The number 350 means climate safety: to preserve a livable planet, scientists tell us we must reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere from its current level of 400 parts per million to below 350 ppm.

The animation above summarizes 350.org in 90 seconds. Visit their website for more info.

What can you do to stop global warming?

Here are some ways you can start reducing your greenhouse gas emissions today. Also, if you’re interested in finding out how much CO2 your lifestyle contributes to the atmosphere, you can use this Carbon Footprint Calculator.

Behind the Maldives’ Glamor, a Struggling Democracy

The New York Times has the story.

The Daily Show

Mohamed Nasheed, who’s been called “the Mandela of the Maldives,” recently visited The Daily Show to talk with Jon Stewart about the Maldives, democracy, and climate change contingencies.

Watch now!


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