John Webster

2008 85 min.

Original version in English with Catalan and Spanish subtitles

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Technical specs

    • Cinematography: John Webster and Tuomo Hutri
    • Direction and screenplay: John Webster
    • Edition: Niels Pagh Andersen
    • Production: Femke Kristiina Pervilà
    • Production company: Millenium Film and JW Documentaries, in association with Magic Hour Films
    • Sound: Pietari Koskinen
    • Suitable for all audiences



Director John Webster convinces his wife and two small children that the whole family should go on an oil-free diet, yet without having to give up their middle class suburban lifestyle. All the everyday things that we don’t do, or that we can’t help doing, make up recipes for disaster. In this comedy of errors they find themselves questioning their values and putting to test their will power and ultimately, their happiness. The director admits: a film on climate change might have faith in the world and hope for the future. But this film was made with something greater. As Anu says to me in the film, I may have made this film out of conviction, but she (and the boys) made it out of love”.

About direction (John Webster)

John Webster was born in Helsinki in 1967 to British parents. In 1996 he graduated from the University of Art and Design in Helsinki with an MA in documentary filmmaking. Since 1990 he has been directing independent documentaries that have won numerous awards both nationally and internationally. His films are human-interest stories with strong central characters whose lives are followed over a long period of time. Typical to his films is a blend of tragedy and comedy, melancholy and exuberance.

Director’s statement

"It was only when I felt personally affected - when I saw the changes in my own environment; in the trees and plants of the fragile Finnish archipelago - that I was moved to do something. And so partly to atone for my sins, but also because it is something I know how to do, I decided to make a documentary film". "The second idea began as a question: why is it, that when a civilisation can see it is headed for disaster, I so seldom manages to avoid it? What are the reasons why we find it so hard to change, even when we have every good reason to do so? We know the consequences of our action. We know what our way of life is doing to the planet. The science of anthropogenic climate change is indisputable. And people like myself, living a Western middle-class lifestyle, are at the core of the problem: we consume the most, we pollute the most, but we could afford not to. So there is every moral imperative to stop doing what we know to be wrong and to change.

Awards & Festivals

  • Best documentary Film, Jussi Awards, Finland, 2009
  • Nominated as best script and film, Jussi Awards, Finland, 2009
  • Honourable Mention, Nordisk Panorama Film Festival, Sweden, 2008