Cinema Verde 2011 Environmental Film Festival
Cinema Verde 2011 was an event to remember.
Bag It examines our society’s use and abuse of plastic. The theme of the film focuses on plastic as it relates to our society’s throw away mentality, our culture of convenience, and our over consumption of throwaway products and packaging—things that we use one time and then, without another thought, we throw them away. Bag It offers a candid view of the disturbing realities of our culture. And, it suggests concrete solutions to our plastic addiction. The film will raise public awareness on the many issues related to plastic and inspire change, both on the individual level and on the public policy level.
Juan ‘Accidentes’ Dominguez is on his biggest case ever. On behalf of twelve Nicaraguan banana workers he is tackling Dole Food Co. in a ground-breaking legal battle for their use of a banned pesticide that sterilized workers. Can he beat the giant, or will the corporation get away with it? In the suspenseful documentary Bananas!, filmmaker Fredrik Gertten sheds new light on the global politics of food.
Carbon Nation is an optimistic, solutions-based, non-preachy, non-partisan, big tent film that shows tackling climate change boosts the economy, increases national & energy security and promotes health and a clean environment.
Countdown to Zero
Conventional wisdom has it that the prospect of nuclear war subsided with the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union, but filmmaker Lucy Walker illustrates how the nuclear threat has only grown in unexpected ways and moved in new directions in this documentary. There are 23,000 nuclear weapons in the world today, a number of which are unaccounted for (when the USSR split into a handful of separate states, some of their bombs went missing), and as the technology becomes simpler, several major radical terrorist groups and politically unstable nations are trying to obtain nuclear weapons, a prospect that isn’t as unlikely as one would hope. And what would happen if the wrong people got their hands on the bomb — or if some of the “good” people were to detonate one through error or mistaken judgment? In Countdown to Zero, a number of leading politicians and political analysts discuss the question of nuclear war in the 21st century and what can be done to eliminate the weapons once and for all.
Based on six years of intensive research and devoted exclusively to solutions to man-made global warming, Deep Green cuts through the clutter to bring new clarity to an increasingly-urgent situation. The best applications worldwide in energy efficiency, green building, decarbonizing transportation, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy and smart grids, and forest restoration. Some profoundly personal and practical— like what one person can do to lower their carbon load in their own house, with their own Lifestyle, on their own land. Others necessarily complex, such as Southern California Edison’s quest to find the best batteries to electrify transportation.
Earthlings is an award-winning documentary film about the suffering of animals for food, fashion, pets, entertainment and medical research. Considered the most persuasive documentary ever made, Earthlings is nicknamed “the Vegan maker” for its sensitive footage shot at animal shelters, pet stores, puppy mills, factory farms, slaughterhouses, the leather and fur trades, sporting events, circuses and research labs.
Economics of Happiness
A world moving simultaneously in two opposing directions. On the one hand, government and big business continue to promote globalization and the consolidation of corporate power. At the same time, all around the world people are resisting those policies, demanding a re-regulation of trade and finance—and, far from the old institutions of power, they’re starting to forge a very different future. Communities are coming together to re-build more human scale, ecological economies based on a new paradigm – an economics of localization.
For 30 years New Mexico-based Reynolds and his green disciples have devoted their time to advancing the art of “Earthship Biotecture” by building self-sufficient, off-the-grid communities where design and function converge in eco-harmony. Frustrated by antiquated legislation, Reynolds lobbies for the right to create a sustainable living test site. Shot over three years and in four countries, Garbage Warrior is a timely portrait of a determined visionary, a hero of the 21st century.
Into Eternity follows the digging and pre-implementation of the Onkalo nuclear waste repository in Olkiluoto, Finland. Director Michael Madsen is questioning Onkalo’s intended eternal existence, addressing a remotely future audience. More importantly, this documentary raises the question of the authorities responsibility of ensuring compliance with relatively new safety criteria legislation and the principles at the core of nuclear waste management.
Journey of the Universe
They weave a tapestry that draws together scientific discoveries in astronomy, geology, biology, ecology, and biodiversity with humanistic insights concerning the nature of the universe. Using his skills as a masterful storyteller, Swimme connects such big picture issues as the birth of the cosmos 14 billion years ago – to the invisible frontiers of the human genome – as well as to our current impact on Earth’s evolutionary dynamics. From the Big Bang–to the epic impact humans have on the planet today–this film is designed to inspire a new and closer relationship with Earth in a period of growing environmental and social crisis.
Based on the acclaimed book by ecologist and cancer survivor Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D., Living Downstream is an eloquent and cinematic documentary film. This poetic film follows Sandra during one pivotal year as she travels across North America, working to break the silence about cancer and its environmental links. After a routine cancer screening, Sandra receives some worrying results and is thrust into a period of medical uncertainty. Thus, we begin two journeys with Sandra: her private struggles with cancer and her public quest to bring attention to the urgent human rights issue of cancer prevention. But Sandra is not the only one who is on a journey—the chemicals against which she is fighting are also on the move. We follow these invisible toxins as they migrate to some of the most beautiful places in North America. We see how these chemicals enter our bodies and how, once inside, scientists believe they may be working to cause cancer.
Low Coal is an exploration of what it’s like to live with the coal industry. Telling the stories of activists and injured miners, Low Coal makes the case that strong and resilient Appalachian communities are paying a heavy price for the benefits to the region that the coal industry provides. This price is paid by the people in the areas around the mines, whether or not they have a formal relationship with the mining industry. The film profiles UMWA members who have worked to improve conditions in the deep mines, and shows what it was like for the community around the Upper Big Branch mine disaster. It also shows what it’s like for people who are having their family histories and communities destroyed by Mountaintop Removal. The film makes a strong effort to distinguish between purely profit-driven mine companies, like Massey Energy, and the individuals who are tasked with doing difficult, dangerous, and thankless work of mining coal.
One Degree Matters
One Degree Matters follows social and business leaders as they travel to Greenland and experience for themselves the dramatic effects of the melting of the ice cap and come to understand the planetary effects of climate change and the impacts these will have on society and the economy. The film brings to the screen the latest science from the Arctic and shows why a further rise in global temperature of one degree matters for the future of humankind.
This documentary provides the viewer with a useful insight into the real harm plastics can cause to the human body, and the world on a larger scale. The film manages to hit a home run with its horrifying, engaging and yet slightly humorous portrayal of its hidden dangers of plastic that are generally brushed off as being too negligent for concern.
This moving and humorous documentary follows six teenagers who, like the “average American child,” spend five to fifteen hours a day behind screens. Play Again unplugs these teens and takes them on their first wilderness adventure – no electricity, no cell phone coverage, no virtual reality.
Push for the Connection
Two decades of ground breaking exploration and research within the mammoth cave systems of Northern Florida stall during one of the longest periods of dark water on record. During a period of clear water conditions, explorers from GUE’s Woodville Karst Plain Project resolve to establish a physical link between two of the largest underwater cave systems in the world. Following a series of previously unimaginable dives, exploration divers push nearly 26,000 feet (7KM) into the extreme depths of the Wakulla and Leon Sinks cave systems. A range of nearly 30-hour immersions while exploring at 300 feet (90m) lead WKPP explorers to a series of breakthrough discoveries, resulting in one of the most celebrated connections in cave diving history.
The first feature-length documentary film to capture the vitality and diversity of today’s religious-environmental activists. From within their Christian, Jewish, Buddhist and Muslim traditions, Americans are becoming caretakers of the Earth. With great courage, these women, men and children are re-examining what it means to be human and how we live on this planet. Their stories of combating global warming and the devastation of mountaintop removal, of promoting food security, environmental justice, recycling, land preservation, and of teaching love and respect for life on Earth are the heart of renewal.
A documentary about the ‘chemical society’ – the society we have been building since the Second World War. Back then, humans used 1 million tons of chemicals per year; the figure today is 500 million tons. The chemical industry is the fastest-growing industry in the world. The film is about the 100,000 chemicals we use every day, what they’re used for and what they do to us and our health. And I don’t mean food additives – I’m talking about chemicals we are exposed to in our daily environments: softeners (phthalates), flame retardants (PBDE), surfactants (PFOS, PFOA) and so on.
The story of the worst environmental disaster you’ve never heard of: the Tar Creek Superfund site. Once one of the largest lead and zinc mines on the planet, Tar Creek is now home to more than 40 square miles of environmental devastation in northeastern Oklahoma: acid mine water in the creeks, stratospheric lead poisoning in the children, and sinkholes that melt backyards and ball fields. As Tar Creek reveals, America’s Superfund sites aren’t just environmental wastelands; they’re community tragedies, too. Until the community fights back.
The Cove follows an elite team of activists, filmmakers and freedivers as they embark on a covert mission to penetrate a remote and hidden cove in Taiji, Japan, shining a light on a dark and deadly secret. Utilizing state-of-the-art techniques, including hidden microphones and cameras in fake rocks, the team uncovers how this small seaside village serves as a horrifying microcosm of massive ecological crimes happening worldwide. The result is a provocative mix of investigative journalism, eco-adventure and arresting imagery, adding up to an unforgettable story that has inspired audiences worldwide to action.
The Greenhorns explores the lives of America’s young farming community – its spirit, practices, and needs. It is the filmmaker’s hope that by broadcasting the stories and voices of these young farmers, we can build the case for those considering a career in agriculture – to embolden them, to entice them, and to recruit them into farming.
Truck Farm is about the urban farms taking root in America’s biggest city. The Truck Farm film will carry viewers from a self-sustaining Staten Island barge to a 6,000-square-foot market garden atop a Brooklyn roof to the elaborate Window Farms of two Manhattan artists. Along the way, we’ll see how far today’s city-dwellers are willing to go to grow food on whatever land they’ve got. According to the National Garden Association, 7 million new gardens were planted in 2009, everywhere from White Houses to schoolhouses. Truck Farm is the story of how these gardens are breathing new life into old cities––and helping one old pickup find meaning in its last years on the road.
Wild Horses and Renegades
As thousands of wild horses and burros are rounded up from their free roaming life on the range, tensions run high for their future. With close to forty thousand wild horses and burros languishing in long term warehousing, the time for solutions is critical. Experts in the field challenge the current management system and the non-scientific myths and biased views about the wild horse. Despite the current crises for the horses, this film is a journey of beauty into the meaningful presence of America’s mustangs on the earth and in our lives.
Riding Bikes with the Dutch
Michael Bauch, a Long Beach resident and independent filmmaker, noticed that many of his local errands involved short rides which were less than three miles. In the summer of 2007 he and his family went to Amsterdam, to document the biking and walking culture that is so natural to the Dutch people. The film suggests that we in the U.S. re-examine our view of bicycles.
A Will for the Woods
Psychiatrist and musician Clark advocates for natural burial – and plans his own – while battling lymphoma. Capturing the genesis of a revolutionary social and environmental movement, this film is a life-affirming portrait of people coming to terms with mortality by embracing our connection to death and nature.