Though many are currently frustrated with Netflix for announcing that commercial-supported subscription plans are forthcoming, you have to give it to the streaming service for having so many fantastic documentaries about the environment and the climate crisis. And the newest one coming to Netflix is Youth v Gov, a documentary about the Juliana v. The United States of America lawsuit and the youth involved in it.
Keep reading for all the details on the documentary, updates on the lawsuit, and when Youth v Gov is coming to Netflix.
The documentary ‘Youth v Gov’ chronicles the ‘Juliana v United States’ court case.
The title Youth v Gov is essentially a shortened version of the court case that it documents: Juliana v. The United States of America.
The lawsuit was filed against the U.S. government in 2015, by a group of 21 American youth in partnership with Earth Guardians, and with legal representation provided by the nonprofit law firm Our Children’s Trust.
As per Our Children’s Trust, the lawsuit argues that the U.S. government has made choices that directly cause climate change, and that these choices have “violated the youngest generation’s constitutional rights,” aka their Fifth Amendment rights to life, liberty, property, and public trust resources.
Youth v Gov lays out the points of the lawsuit, backed by evidence that the government and fossil fuel industry knew how destructive burning fossil fuels was back in the 1950s, and covered up that information. The documentary also features interviews with the 21 youth plaintiffs and other experts, includes footage from a private courtroom, and more.
Who is Juliana in 'Juliana v United States'?
The 21 youth involved in the lawsuit were between the ages of 14 and 25 at the time of filing, included 11 Black, Brown, and Indigenous youth, and hailed from 10 different states across the country.
The Juliana in the lawsuit’s title is Kelsey Juliana of Oregon, a lead plaintiff in the case. Another notable name in the bunch is youth climate activist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, whom Green Matters has interviewed in the past about his climate work.
Julia Olson, who serves as Chief Legal Counsel for the case, founded Our Children’s Trust in 2010 with plans of filing the lawsuit she would launch five years later. Phil Gregory serves as Co-Counsel.
Emmy-award winning cinematographer Christi Cooper served as the director, writer, and producer for Youth v Gov. Cooper previously directed the 2011 documentary series Stories of TRUST: Calling for Climate Recovery, which was about youth plaintiffs suing their state governments over climate change.
What happened with ‘Juliana v. The United States of America’ court case?
A congressional concurrent resolution to the Juliana v. United States case was introduced in September 2020, and reintroduced on Earth Day 2021. The resolution recognized that the climate crisis is “disproportionately affecting the health, economic opportunity, and fundamental rights of children” and called for the federal government to develop a climate recovery plan to reduce the nation’s emissions.
However, it’s clear that the government has not taken sufficient action, as the Juliana v. United States plaintiffs are still fighting for their case seven years after first lodging the lawsuit. In fact, they are still campaigning for the case to go to trial, as per AP News.
How to watch ‘Youth v Gov’ on Netflix or by hosting a showing:
Youth v Gov will land on Netflix on April 29, where subscribers will be able to steam the doc for free.
The Youth v Gov team has also partnered with Good Docs for educational distribution of the documentary. You can contact the company here if you’d like to license the film ($129) for a showing in your community, such as at your school, religious center, or company.