Green Drinks August 2013

This information was gathered and published by MESYM from this source.

This month we screen the film ‘If a Tree Falls‘, winner of the Documentary Editing Award at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and nominated for Best Documental Feature Academy Awards 2011. It is a film about the arrest and trial of Daniel McGowan, a member of the Earth Liberation Front (ELF). The ELF had launched spectacular acts of arson against dozens of businesses it accused of destroying the environment. No one had ever been hurt in any of the fires, but the FBI considered the group the “No. 1 domestic terrorism threat” in the United States, and McGowan faced a sentence of life in prison.

This is a look at the great standoff between environmental conservation and protection, and the protection of the vested interests of corporations and a growth economy.

As environmental awareness increased since the 1970s, some members of environmental groups became frustrated with the failures of traditional protest and legislative action and turned to more radical methods to have their voices heard – sabotage and property damage. Many supporters consider such actions to be in revoultionary tradition of the Boston Tea Party – symboic property damage designed to draw public attention to important issues.

Others consider these actions terrorism. The term “eco-terrorism” is widely understood to have been coined by Ron Arnold, executive vice president of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise – an education and research organization affiliated with the mining and timber industries.

If a Tree Falls is a layered narrative that weaves together a variety of clashing points of view, which asks its audience to wrestle with questions intentionally left unresolved.

There is a preview, reviews and an excellent discussion guide for download here:!august/cddj


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