By Kathryn Allen and Kris Bergren
In 2005, several of us from Eagle View Group were at the first ever Sierra Club Summit in San Francisco. Days earlier Katrina had devastated the Gulf Coast, which seemed to confirm the threat of global warming and ironically forced a change in travel plans for Al Gore diverting him to the summit and allowing him to show his Inconvenient Truth slideshow! Amidst dynamic speakers and wonderful workshops, there were environmental movies that gave us powerful information and stories we wanted to bring back to the Quad Cities… thus the Environmental Film Fest! Twelve years later, we are still going strong!
Some years we have had a theme for the film fest, other years not. This year, given the turmoil following the election, including appointing unqualified…even hostile leadership to agencies responsible for the environment, for the national parks, and for energy policy, the planning committee thought that the theme of Activism would be most appropriate! Following is a list of the movies we’re showing, and how we see the theme of Activism woven into each of them.
The film fest opens with the short movie: Mni Wiconi – The Stand at Standing Rock about the protest that captured the hearts and attention of the world. The water protectors from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and members from over 300 Native American tribes along with other allies stood their ground to uphold what is precious to them – water and sacred land threatened by a pipeline. A pipeline that is designed to carry 470,000 to 570,000 barrels of crude oil per day, using land from broken treaties and claimed by eminent domain for the profit of a private company. The Sage Sisters of Solidarity, a local grassroots organization created by three indigenous women who were inspired by the water protectors at Standing Rock will update us on the protest at Standing Rock. Courageous Activism
The next film, Love Thy Nature (25 min), is one we hope will remind our guests of the reasons why we want to pledge ourselves to protecting what we cherish…our home, planet earth. This movie is about the deep richness in beauty and diversity of our planet. Also, it explores the short timeline our species has inhabited earth and yet enough time to cause great damage to its land and waters. Our desire to connect to the natural world…is inspired by the movie’s stunning images of our beautiful planet. Nature Activism
The Future of Energy (64 min) highlights the growing movement across the US for the transition to renewable energy. For those who thought that under the previous administration, this transition was moving in the right direction, but who have felt discouraged by messages promoting the return to coal, this is a movie that gives hope that the change continues to happen! “The Future of Energy is really about the clean energy revolution happening right now… By the final credits, you’ll know both how and why renewable energy is the cleanest, quickest, cheapest, and safest way to supply all of our energy needs.”Michael Brune, Executive Director, Sierra Club Energy Activism
The movie, Disobedience (45 min), inspires us to take a stand for the earth with the stories of people around the world who have put themselves at risk to defend specific locations, species, or policies affecting the environment. It is about people power, and the importance of making our values and priorities clear by doing whatever we can – writing, demonstrating, rallying, marching, divesting from fossil fuels, or talking to others persuasively about why we care about the environment and it’s importance to supporting life on our planet. People Power Activism
62 Years is a short film about David Brower, the first executive director of the Sierra Club, and his son, Ken Brower, who is our guest speaker at this year’s film fest. David Brower’s life was largely defined by his passion for the earth, especially protecting the great rivers of the west from damming, and the lands in those canyons from disappearing. He wrote about the earth, testified, made movies, and did much to form the environmental movement of the 20th century. Ken has carried on the tradition by writing extensively about his father’s legacy, and about the environment. We are delighted that Ken will be with us for our 12th Environmental Film Fest! His topic will be “Fly on the Wall: the history and future of environmental activism by a witness to its birth.” His presentation will include the short film “62 Years” chronicling his father’s victory against proposed dams on the Green River of Colorado. After the film, he will speak about the dramatic story of what happened after the events of “62 Years.” Generational Activism
The EFF is open to the public, and is free of charge, though donations are gratefully accepted. Delicious healthy snacks and beverages will be available throughout the day!
Environmental Film Fest (EFF)
Saturday, March 11, 2017
11 am – 5 pm
Doors open at 10:30
Augustana College Olin Center 733 35 St. Augustana College Rock Island, IL