A Fierce Green Fire

A landmark film about the environment movement has several screenings in Oregon: “A Fierce Green Fire – Battle for a Living Planet,” billed as the first big-picture exploration of the environmental movement.

Spanning five decades of environmental activism, the documentary is narrated by Robert Redford, Meryl Streep, Ashley Judd and others. The film’s director, Mark Kitchell is traveling with the film – which has been chosen for Sundance and other influential film festivals. Here’s the schedule for Oregon screenings.

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Official Synopsis

A Fierce Green Fire: The Battle for a Living Planet is the first big-picture exploration of the environmental movement – grassroots and global activism spanning fifty years from conservation to climate change. Directed and written by Mark Kitchell, Academy Award-nominated director of Berkeley in the Sixties, and narrated by Robert Redford, Ashley Judd, Van Jones, Isabel Allende and Meryl Streep, the film premiered at Sundance Film Festival 2012, has won acclaim at festivals around the world, and in 2013 begins theatrical release as well as educational distribution and use by environmental groups and grassroots activists.

Inspired by the book of the same name by Philip Shabecoff and informed by advisors like Edward O. Wilson, A FIERCE GREEN FIRE chronicles the largest movement of the 20th century and one of the keys to the 21st. It brings together all the major parts of environmentalism and connects them. It focuses on activism, people fighting to save their homes, their lives, the future – and succeeding against all odds.

The film unfolds in five acts, each with a central story and character:

  1. David Brower and the Sierra Club’s battle to halt dams in the Grand Canyon
  2. Lois Gibbs and Love Canal residents’ struggle against 20,000 tons of toxic chemicals
  3. Paul Watson and Greenpeace’s campaigns to save whales and baby harp seals
  4. Chico Mendes and Brazilian rubbertappers’ fight to save the Amazon rainforest
  5. Bill McKibben and the 25-year effort to address the impossible issue – climate change

Surrounding these main stories are strands like environmental justice, going back to the land, and movements of the global south such as Chipko in India and Wangari Maathai in Kenya. Vivid archival film brings it all back and insightful interviews shed light on the events and what they mean. The film offers a deeper view of environmentalism as civilizational change, bringing our industrial society into sustainable balance with nature.

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