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A Fierce Green Fire

The Battle for a Living Planet
2012 | 101 min

“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.

Inspired by the book of the same name by Philip Shabecoff and informed by advisors like E.O. Wilson and Tom Lovejoy, “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 Brazillian rubbertapper’s 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 Wangari Maathai in Kenya. Vivid archival film brings it all back and insightful interviews with activists shed light on what it all means. The film offers a deeper view of environmentalism as civilizational change, bringing our industrial society into a sustainable balance with nature. It’s a battle for a living planet.

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