Monday, June 24, 2013

Two Films: Elemental and Rebels with a Cause

In the last several weeks two documentary films have come out that highlight the determination and passion inherent in the leaders from the environmental conservation and activists movements: Elemental and Rebels with a Cause.

Elemental tracks the lives of three activists passionate about making change in the world: Eriel Deranger an activist leader from the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation fighting the Tar Sands development in Alberta, Canada; Rajendra Singh, who commits to rejuvenate rivers in Rajasthan, India and to cleaning up the Ganges River; and Jay Harman, an entrepreneur and inventor of high efficiency fans and pumps and founder of Pax Scientific in San Rafael, California. Elemental provides a fascinating insight into the daily challenges that each of these leaders face on a daily basis including family responsibilities, financial challenges and political fights.

Rebels with a Cause, tells the story of the activists that fought to protect the undeveloped land in Marin and Sonoma counties in California. This film takes us back in time and brings forth the enormous pressures to develop the land north of San Francisco in the 1950s and 1960s. The rebels, including: Huey Johnson, Doug Ferguson, Marty Griffin, Phyllis Faber and David Brower among others, recount their strategies and battles to protect the undeveloped land in Marin and Sonoma Counties. Learning about their struggles provides a valuable historical context to the current parks and preserves surrounding San Francisco including the Point Reyes National Seashore, Muir Woods, Bolinas Lagoon, etc.

Both of these films beautifully describe the connection between the leaders' passion and commitment, and their accomplishments. A great tribute to past and current environmental leaders dedicating their lives for a better world.