"Kid Warrior: The Story" by Vanessa Black

This short documentary, in celebration of Earth Day this week, tells the remarkable story of a longhaired teen who is taking on the American oil industry.

In this short documentary directed by Vanessa Black, we get a brief look into the life of young environmental activist Xiuhtezcatl Tonatiuh Martinez.

Martinez has taken on a lot of responsibility for a young person and he knows it. “The way that I choose to live my life – there’s a huge difference between myself and other 14-year-olds,” he confidently states. He’s achieved an impressive amount, including being awarded the “Youth Changemaker of the Year” award from US President Barack Obama in 2013.

The teenager who lives in Colorado is the youth director of Earth Guardians, a nonprofit organisation that encourages young people to connect and become involved in environmental activism.

In this heart-warming short film we meet Martinez’s mother, his friends and his younger brother, who follows close on his heels in the environmental activism department. Shot with a vintage filter, the film harks back to the hippy subculture of the 1960s and 70s, not just because Martinez wears his hair exceptionally long but also because he embodies the ethos.

He believes that the biggest challenge is shifting human consciousness.

“The planet doesn’t need saving,” Martinez says. “We do.”