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‘The Island President’ Director Jon Shenk Talks Coups and Courage

Jon Shenk had never been to the Maldives when, in the fall of 2008, he read about a young activist named Mohamed Nasheed who had just become the country’s first democratically elected president after 30 years of horrific dictatorship.

“When I started paying attention to Nasheed’s presidency, I was struck by his willingness to say these brutally honest things about the global environment. His was a truly unique political story.

“A lightbulb went on in my head. Here was a chance to completely shift the conversation about climate change from something a lot of people consider boring or are powerless over—climate change—to a story with both inherent drama and a kind of hero.”

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