The world premiere of the film took place in the Vatican’s New Synod Hall on Oct. 4, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi.
Oct. 4 also marked the Holy See’s formal accession to the 2015 Paris Climate Accords.
Cardinal Michael Czerny, prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, presented the film at a press conference on Tuesday. Czerny’s dicastery was a partner of the film together with the Vatican’s communications office.
From left: Cacique Odair “Chief Dadá,” Hoesung Lee, Cardinal Michael Czerny, Lorna Gold, and Nicolas Brown at an Oct. 4, 2022, press conference at the Vatican. Photo credit: Daniel Ibanez/CNA
“The film ‘The Letter’ highlights the key concept of dialogue,” he said. “Dialogue is central to the Holy Father’s vision for humanity’s peace with the Creator, with all creation, and among us humans.”
Hoesung Lee, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said at the press conference that the film “is a timely reminder of the urgency and importance of Laudato si’.”
“Both the science community and the faith community are very clear: the planet is in crisis and its life support system [is] in peril. The stakes have never been higher, and we should be the source of the solution to this crisis,” he added.
The film’s writer and director, Nicolas Brown, said the exercise of making the documentary “has been one of getting out of our bubbles and meeting each other across this planet. These voices are important largely because they are the perspectives of those who suffer the most.”
The five main subjects of the film “The Letter” pictured in front of a map in the Vatican. They traveled to Rome to meet Pope Francis. Photo credit: Laudato Si’ Movement
The film’s subjects are Cacique Odair “Chief Dadá,” an indigenous leader of the Novo Lugar community of the Borarí people in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil; Ridhima Pandey, a young climate activist from India; Arouna Kandé, a climate refugee from Senegal; and Robin Martin and Greg Asner, marine biologists who live in Hawaii.