Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sustainability-related films at the 2012 Oscars

At the very end of Sustainability-related news from Reuters for 2/23, I included the following excerpt and comment about the Oscars.
Michael Moore champions Oscar documentary makers
By Jordan Riefe
LOS ANGELES | Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:48pm EST
(Reuters) - Director Michael Moore championed non-fiction filmmakers on Wednesday night at a pre-Oscar event honoring nominees for best documentaries, attributing a growing appetite for the art form to a public starved for the truth.

The often controversial director, who won an Oscar for gun control movie "Bowling for Columbine" and scored the highest-grossing documentary of all-time with anti-war film "Fahrenheit 9/11," was hosting a symposium at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences featuring nominees for best documentary features and short subjects.

"We've been living in a time where people have been lied to a lot," Moore told Reuters. "People are tired of it and they want the truth, and documentaries represent the truth."
Feature film documentaries nominated for this year's Oscars include, "Hell and Back Again" by Danfung Dennis, "If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front" by Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman, "Pina" by Wim Wenders, "Undefeated" by TJ Martin and Dan Lindsay, and "Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory" by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky
I don't like the ELF, as I think they're too extreme and their tactics counterproductive, but their story should be told.
Here's the trailer for the movie from Point of View on YouTube.

The PBS page for the movie is here and the full description is here. While I disapprove of the ELF's methods--they really are criminals--I'm astounded that they were the subjects of the largest domestic terrorism investigation U.S. history. In terms of suspects and total property damage, I can believe it. In terms of other ways of measuring it, I'd have to be convinced.

"If a Tree Falls" isn't the only documentary with a sustainability theme nominated tonight. There is also "The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossum," which has been nominated for the Best Documentary Short Subject. Here is its trailer from the film's own YouTube channel.

The film's description at the (ABC/Disney) page for the Oscars is here. It turns out that this isn't director Lucy Walker's first foray into sustainability-related documentaries. She directed the Oscar-winning documentary feature Waste Land. Here is its trailer.

I don't know if I'll be rooting for "If a Tree Falls" to win its category, but I'm more optimistic about "The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom" based on the director's track record.


  1. If a tree fell in the forest and everybody lied and said it didn't then did it?

    1. I'm a scientist, so I'll say it still did, the lies notwithstanding. However, if everyone else believes the lies, then people will go on acting as if it didn't. Sigh. I'll pose this question to my colleague the philosopher. I won't pose it to my lawyer.