Film poster for "Youth V Gov" with child in a group of protesters
Film poster for "Youth V Gov" with child in a group of protesters
21 young Americans are suing the government to protect their constitutional rights to a stable climate. If they win, they will change the future.


Regular price $129.00


Screened at 48 festivals worldwide | Winner of 24 Audience & Jury Awards | Featured at American Association of Law Schools and Educational Conferences

Climate Change • Constitutional Rights • Judicial System • Government • Democracy • Activism • Youth • Social Impact

Date of Completion: 2020 (Updated 2022) | Run Time: 110 minutes​​ | Language: English with Spanish subtitles | Captions: Yes | Includes: Study Guide (Available Upon Purchase) | Director: Christi Cooper | Producers: Christi Cooper & Olivia Ahnemann

The film YOUTH v GOV follows the story of American youth taking on the world’s most powerful government, filing a ground-breaking lawsuit against the U.S. government. They assert it has willfully acted over six decades to create the climate crisis, thus endangering their constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property.

The Juliana plaintiffs, represented by the legal non-profit Our Children’s Trust, represent the diversity of America’s youth impacted by the climate crisis. Hailing from across the country, they encompass cultural, economic racial, and geographic diversity, with many from marginalized communities, and their stories are universal. Their diversity speaks not only to the impacts of climate change, but to the inclusion required if we are to build a better, more just future together. If these young people are successful, they will not only make history, they will change the future. 

Check out this related film We Have Reached The Moment 

Educational Media Reviews Online | LaRoi Lawton, Library & Learning Resources Department, Bronx Community College of the City University of New York
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED "The viewer gets to see “Democracy and Law in action” started by a group of young people concerned about climate change."

School Library Journal | Maggie Knapp
"An empowering story of young people working within the system to make their voices heard. Consider for government and social studies classes and current events discussions."

Booklist | Candace Smith
"This documentary will help teens feel connected to solutions in the global warming crisis."

Francis Ford Coppola - Film Director, Producer & Screenwriter
"I am 100% behind our youth having a say in decisions affecting their future and holding the government accountable to them.”

Tom Wright - Filmmaker
“A vital story of a key judicial battle in the ongoing war against man-made climate change, this film is a splendidly-made and urgent coming-of-age tale for our time. Its first-class production values are a rarity among the far too few contemporary films dealing with the desire of youth for a cleaner environment. What makes this one particularly poignant is the diverse all-star team of precocious youth who’ve been recruited to join the ongoing messy quest for environmental justice.”

POV Magazine | Madeline Lines
Youth v Gov is both a documentary and a kind of superhero movie.”

WITNESS | Kelly Matheson
“Just as Juliana v. U.S. is no ordinary lawsuit, YOUTH v GOV is no ordinary story. It is a must-watch for anyone who cares about future generations and our planet.”

GRIST | Clayton Aldern
“Here’s the deal. If you have a child-rearing bone in your body — or, really, anything other than a raisin where your heart should be — YOUTH v GOV will move you.... Part of that power comes from the skill of the filmmakers, who weave together 60 years of archival material, stirring footage of natural disasters, and dramatic courtroom video to bring dense legal arguments to life. But the vast majority of the documentary’s emotional muscle comes from those meddling kids.”

Climate Culture | Lucy Hochschartner
“I wish I could help you understand that this is the most important movie you may ever see, and that this question of who deserves a future is one that my generation demands an answer to. This movie must be taken in as a whole, a beautiful, loving story, capturing the most important court case that you’ve probably never heard of and the lives of 21 of the many children who just might save the world.”

Medium | Krista Hiser
"This case will undoubtably triumph in the long run and in doing so, it will redefine our relationship to Earth, time, and the future."

The Leader | James Sloan
“As 'Youth v. Gov' delves into the twists and turns of the lawsuit, Cooper additionally delves into the deep history of the United State’s involvement in accelerating climate change, whether through subsidizing fossil-fuel industries, failing to mitigate carbon emissions, or other decisions.“I think what this film does differently is to shine a light on the government’s responsibility in those systemic issues … and those who are most disproportionately impacted by climate change,” Cooper said. “If our government isn’t there to protect us from harm, then who is?”

The East Hampton Star | Mark Segal
“The film moves seamlessly from the legal team's development of its arguments to interviews with climate scientists to scenes of the kids demonstrating, preparing to go to court, celebrating their triumphs, and persisting despite setbacks. Perhaps most compelling are segments of individual kids, many of them from marginalized communities, who recall their direct experience of wildfires, hurricanes, floods, and other natural disasters that threatened their families.”

The Sag Harbor Express | Annette Hinkle
“While climate change has become a politically charged partisan issue in recent years, Cooper notes that when it comes to this topic, she finds there is blame on all sides. Even elected leaders who have spoken out about protecting the environment have, behind the scenes, instituted policies that benefit polluting industries.”

BoZone | Carol Schmidt
“It is an appropriate time for the world to learn more about the case and why it is an important case in the climate and constitutional rights world,” Cooper said. “If these young people are successful, they will not only make history, they will change the future.”

Missoulian | Rob Chaney
“A battle between youth and government over climate change could be won before one of two courts: law or public opinion.”

Centerpiece Film | Big Sky Doc Film Fest
Opening Night Film | DC Environmental Film Festival
ReelWomenDirect Award for Excellence in Directing by a Woman | Cleveland International Film Festival
Impact Award for Feature Film | EarthxFilm
Best of Fest, Audience Award, Best Feature Documentary Film | Woods Hole Film Festival
Honorable Mention Feature Documentary Jury Award | Bentonville Film Festival
Ted Turner Award | Bozeman International Film Festival
Jury 2nd Runner Up - Feature Film | Klamath Film Festival
Best Feature Documentary | Port Townsend Film Festival
Act Now Award | Crested Butte Film Festival
Grand Teton Award (Best of Festival), Best Editing, Special Recognition For Impact Award | JacksonWild
Best Environmental Film | Urbanworld Film Festival
Best of Festival, Best Environmental/Outdoor Documentary Film | Bend Film Festival
Best International Documentary | All Living Things Environmental Film Festival (India)
Audience Choice "Things To Consider" - Feature Documentary Award | Friday Harbor Film Festival
Youth Vision Award | United Nations Association Film Festival
Closing Night Film | Suncine: Environmental Film Festival (Barcelona)
Best Documentary Feature Film | Chicago International Children's Film Festival
The Peggy Charren Award For Excellence | Boston International Kids Film Festival
Best in Theme | Wild & Scenic Film Festival

Big Sky Doc Film Fest
One Earth Film Festival
Air, Land & Sea Initiative
DC Environmental Film Festival
Cleveland International Film Festival
KCET - Earth Focus Environmental Film Festival
Seattle International Film Festival
Ashland International Film Festival
International Wildlife Film Festival
RiverRun Film Festival
Harlem Film Festival
Sarasota Film Festival
Boulder International Film Festival
Woods Hole Film Festival
Bentonville Film Festival
Rose Foundation Film Festival
Bozeman International Film Festival
Klamath Film Festival
Glasgow Youth Film Festival (Scotland)
Port Townsend Film Festival
Crested Butte Film Festival
Urbanworld Film Festival
Bend Film Festival
Heartland International Film Festival
All Living Things Environmental Film Festival (India)
Friday Harbor Film Festival
Planet in Focus International Film Festival (Toronto)
Bushwick Film Festival
Twin Cities Film Fest
United Nations Association Film Festival
Women's Heritage Film Festival (Italy)
Raindance Film Festival (England)
Centre Film Festival
Suncine: Environmental Film Festival (Barcelona)
St. Louis International Film Festival
Chicago International Children's Film Festival
Three Rivers Film Festival
Rocky Mountain Women's Film Festival
Boston International Kids Film Festival
Wild & Scenic Film Festival
Cinematters Social Justice Film Festival