The video, directed by Australian filmmaker Josh Wakely, sees a man visit the fortune teller’s shop to gaze into the crystal ball. He witnesses a series of climate change triggered disasters in sketch form, overwhelming the great metropolis of New York and London and burning through the Australian outback. The fortune teller is later unmasked as Thunberg, while the band appear as themselves on tarot cards.
Watch it below:
The video was originally meant to be live-action, however, its production began in mid-March just days after the coronavirus pandemic put the world into lockdown. It morphed into the resulting mix of animation and motion capture, as it was assembled across the globe, Wakely told Variety.
Thunberg also did not provide any original footage for the video, as Wakely combined the existing video of the young climate activist with the body of another actress in motion capture.
“She never had to act a frame, but she provided that emotion I was looking for. It was a huge thrill to see an email in my inbox from her saying that she loved it,” he told Variety.
The Pearl Jam track isn’t Thunberg’s first foray into rock stardom. Last year, she appeared on The 1975’s self-titled single from ‘Notes on a Conditional Form’, giving an emotive spoken word call for “civil disobedience” in response to inaction on climate change.
‘Retrograde’ is taken from Pearl Jam’s latest album ‘Gigaton’, released in late March. Other songs on the album tackle themes of environmental apocalypse, including ‘Quick Escape’ and ‘Dance Of The Clairvoyants’. The NME review called the album a “return to semi-brilliance”.