more people are getting vaccinated, summer is on the horizon, and Mountainfilm Festival came back. After going virtual last year, the annual event is combining the best of both worlds in 2021. A small, in-person festival will take place in Telluride, Colorado, over Memorial Day weekend, as well as a one-week virtual festival beginning May 31. .
As a media sponsor for this year’s event, Grist reviewed seven documentaries and over 120 shorts featured at the festival, which are available for a fee. These pieces explore racism in outdoor adventure culture, recount the fight for the next generation of a habitable planet, and present the story of how evangelists came to oppose environmentalism politically. Some were deeply moving, others left something to be desired – read on for our thoughts on which movies are worth your time.
youth vs government
Here’s the deal. If there’s a baby-bearing bone in your body—or, really, anything other than a raisin where your heart should be— youth vs government will transfer you. The film, which paves the way for the 21 young plaintiffs suing the federal government over climate inaction, is a masterclass in making the mundane emotionally resonant. Part of that power comes from the skill of the filmmakers, who weave together 60 years of archival material, evocative footage of natural disasters, and dramatic courtroom videos to bring dense legal arguments to life. But much of the emotional muscle of the documentary is what captures the attention of those kids.
plaintiff in ongoing trial Juliana vs United States Each bring their own story of climate disruption; The accounts of storm- and wildfire-damaged childhoods are both heart-wrenching and harrowing. Their lawyers have identified a unique argument in children’s youth: that climate change will rest disproportionately on the shoulders of generations to come, and that fact calls for disproportionate action today. This logic works on the audience, too, and you’ll leave the movie wondering if you’re doing enough to ensure a habitable planet. Yes, the advice columnist in me says, you are — but this unrestrained case against two presidential administrations, brought about by some ragtag climate goonie with the weight of the world behind them, will ask you to do a little more. As Kelsey Juliana, the plaintiff named in the case, told the camera, “It’s going to take more than one girl with a megaphone.”
– Clayton Alderndata reporter
we are like god
In the remote areas of northeastern Siberia, in a 50-square-mile nature reserve known as “Pleistocene Park,” Stewart Brand waits for the woolly mammoths to return.
this is a scene of We are as God A documentary that is part biographical, part exploration of “extinction”, the controversial process of using gene editing to bring back extinct plants and animals. (Woolly mammoths go a long way: Passenger pigeons and American chestnut trees may be the first.) The main character is Brand, who at age 82 worked as Forrest Gump for the environmental movement, working for watershed moments. pops up in the background. . As a student at Stanford, he conducted research with Paul Ehrlich, biologist and author of population bomb; In the 1960s, she dropped Acid with novelist Ken Kesey.
He has also been in controversies. The brand has long embraced the technology instead of going against it, intimidating many fellow environmentalists. “We are in the form of God,” he wrote in the 1968 edition whole earth catalog, a counterculture magazine he founded. “And we can even get used to it.”
we are like god Sometimes scrappy, but always amusing, Brand leaves behind as he combs through woolly mammoth teeth, debates the merits of reviving dead species, and follows a 10,000-year clock. Supports construction. At its heart, the film asks: Should we, like Brands, support modifying nature to save it?
– Shannon OsakaMILF Reporter
God$Green: An Unholy Alliance
To explain the relationship between Big Oil, the modern Republican Party, and evangelical Christianity, you have to cover very Of the land God$Green: An Unholy Alliance, a short documentary from the Religion, Race and Democracy Lab at the University of Virginia, also promises to publish why this combination resulted in evangelists who seem to defend God’s creation while denying the reality of climate change. want.
The film takes a lighter touch to such a heavy subject matter, including great interviews with writers, professors, evangelists, evangelical activists and former Representative Bob Inglis, then mixes them up with a blizzard of historical facts. Soon after President Nixon launched the EPA, we end up with Charles Darwin and John D. Rockefeller, who were (is it surprising?) a devout Christian in the 19th century, then joined the Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925 . And it ends on an uplifting note, taking inspiration from last summer’s protests for racial justice. That’s too much material to cram in 20 minutes, no point turning it into a story. The effect is like running through a buffet, enhanced by choppy editing that flips through historical scenes followed by another. still, god $ green Raises many interesting questions, even if he does not have time to answer.
– Matthew Craft, senior editor
Me. both of
short documentary Me. both of, directed by Brandon Lavoie, certainly covers a worthwhile theme. It follows Chuck Nelson, a former West Virginia coal miner who has seen his body, community and family destroyed by industry and is now speaking out against it. One assumes that the title refers to his internal conflict: a lifelong pride in coal mine work and its role in nation-building, and a deep anger at the coal companies for his instructions that, in his words, “rape the land, Make a profit, and get the hell out of it, and they could care less what it looked like when they left here.”
Chuck’s character is expressive and compelling, but the film itself is over and one-note, the camera clings a little too tightly to this person’s trauma in favor of some other insight into his life. We know that West Virginians suffer greatly from the environmental damage of mining, and we know that the coal companies are to blame, not the miners. There must be some new territory to tread in the thematic realm of the Appalachian catastrophe, but it hasn’t been explored here.
– Eve Andrews, staff Writer
one thing for all
In 1991, eight scientists in red suits reminiscent of Star-Trek stepped into a giant geodesic dome outside Tucson, Arizona. They won’t emerge for two years. During that time, they breathed, ate, and lived entirely within the confines of “Biosphere 2,” which was essentially a giant terrarium. (What is Biosphere 1? Earth itself, of course.)
Documentary film one thing for all Delve into archival footage and interviews to dissect the reveal of the experiment, which aimed to test the viability of a closed ecosystem that scientists imagine humans might one day inhabit distant planets. Its fascinating ambitions for life in space, fueled by ecological collapse and billionaire escapism, are reminiscent of Elon Musk’s modern ambitions to colonize Mars. Biosphere 2 was co-founded exclusively by oil tycoon ed basso; he later hired Steve BannonThe far-right, Trump-era strategist.
The film gets off to a rocky start, featuring seemingly endless footage of the project’s architects participating in a 1970s experimental theater (read: lots of flailing and yelling). But it finds its footing inside Biosphere 2, where participants faced trials including hunger, lack of oxygen and fighting inside.
The most useful thing about Biosphere 2 may not be what it thinks about life on other planets, but what it can tell us about life on Earth. Participants in the experiment formed a unique relationship with their miniature ecological communities – one said in an interview, that they had a personal connection to every plant and tree in the dome as they planted, propagated or cut it. one thing for all Re-created nature doesn’t dwell long on this question of stewardship – but just imagine if all of that effort went into repairing our home, rather than finding out if we could just give it up.
– Alexandria Herre, News & Politics Fellow
“Montana is so white it hurts your eyes,” says a black climber, in the middle of the documentary Black Ice. Sure enough, the streets of central Bozeman are covered with snow. But it doesn’t mean exactly that.
It’s no secret that rock climbers, whether young gym rats or experienced big-wall climbers, are mostly white. (according to a Analysis From the American Alpine Club, the country’s 7.7 million climbers are 85 percent white and just 1 percent black.) Black Ice Nonprofit Climbing Gym in Tennessee is the story of taking some climbers from Memphis Rocks—some of whom have never left the state before—and dropping them off in the dead of winter in rural Montana to learn how to climb ice.
It is rough. Climbers endure the awkwardness and horror of climbing sub-zero temperatures, tents covered in snow, and freezing walls. At the center of the film is 20-year-old S’Lacio, a South Memphis native who has never been on a plane before, let alone an ice ax swung into a frozen waterfall. Shot at age 17, he can’t lift his left arm above his shoulder, but still manages to climb an incredibly icy cliff. On the ground, he wept bitterly. “It’s the best thing that’s happened to me,” he says quietly.
– Shannon OsakaMILF Reporter
The energy belonged to the people. And now they want it back. In the busy city of London, on the colorful streets of Spain, and in the quiet forests of Germany, concerned citizens are fighting to take back ownership of energy from big companies and launch cooperatively owned renewable energy projects.
There’s electrical energy, and then there’s human energy, says renewable energy developer Agamemnon Otero in London, in the 38-minute documentary we power Company from Patagonia. While the film is about both, it emphasizes the human energy, the power of collaboration. The film looks at how the people of the European Union are fighting not only for clean energy, but also for energy justice in homes that have to pay for food or heat.
But, even after the conglomerate eventually turns small profits, monopoly utility companies have a way of resetting the sector to their advantage. The film asks what it takes to create a community-driven renewable revolution. The answer, it seems, is hope, persistence and perhaps some cooperation from the government.
– Jenna Brooker, Midwest Fellow
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of knews.uk and knews.uk does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.