A impoverished climate change crusader resides in Kenya in Thank You for the Rain, a familiar though intimately affecting story about the planet’s dire present and uncertain future.
Kisilu Musya is a dedicated husband, father, and farmer who has witnessed the disastrous effects of climate change first hand. He and his fellow farmers eagerly await rainfall as a drought ravages the land; then, seemingly out of nowhere, rains return but with a vengeance, and now floods are the villain.
Kisilu is followed by Norwegian filmmaker Julia Dahr, who narrates a years long saga of farming, family, and activism with adoration and curiosity. In allowing his story to be told, Kisilu himself takes a hand held camera, offering his perspective in a more personal way.
He is entirely captivating; his laughter is infectious, his determination inspiring, and hardships palpable. Some of his children are sent home from school early one day because he hasn’t enough money; he also can’t afford a loan to purchase a taxi, an effort to supplement his meager income when the weather proves troubling.
Dahr’s documentary stays focused on Kisilu, assuming the viewer understands the connections between climate change and extreme weather, among other things. Culminating in the U.N. Paris Climate Change talks, of which Kisilu is a speaker hoping for immediate, practical solutions, the films serves as another chronicle of many such important stories. Ultimately, Thank You for the Rain culls a hopeful leader to stir the masses amidst cynicism, apathy, and fear.