The Reluctant Radical

Official film description

"The Reluctant Radical" follows activist Ken Ward as he confronts his fears and puts himself in the direct path of the fossil fuel industry to combat climate change. Ken breaks the law as a last resort, to fulfill what he sees as his personal obligation to future generations. After twenty years leading environmental organizations, Ken became increasingly alarmed by both the scientific evidence of climate change and the repercussions for civilization as we know it. Ken pushed for a crisis level response from inside environmental organizations. Those efforts failed, and he now embraces direct action civil disobedience as the most effective political tool to deal with catastrophic circumstances.

Notes on the film

An interesting portrait of an activist who, for reasons of conscience, shuts down oil pipelines leading from Canada to the USA and goes to court. The man is not condemned for taking action against the oil industry out of concern for the future of humanity.

Rating from our film jury

"The Reluctant Radical has caused a divided echo on our film jury.

On the one hand, the positivistic approach and the clear plea for personal responsibility are convincing.

On the other hand, the jury was not entirely clear what new information or arguments the film would bring into the debate.

It is up to each viewer to decide whether or not this "radical" form of protest should be approved.

Further reviews

"The Reluctant Radical" is the most striking environmental documentary I've seen to date- and I have seen plenty. It is an absolute must-see. – D. Schwartz, CineSource

A film that is both a vivid portrait of an activist and an addictive suspense thriller—a Hitchcockian riff on "An Inconvenient Truth"... – Willamette Week

Grayzel wants us to ponder whether this one-man mission to save the world makes Ward a radical. 'Yes' is too easy an answer, and the wrong one if you ask Ward. He has to stop climate change at any cost. His every action is one of common sense. Maybe we're the crazy ones. – The Missoula Independent

Technical information and screening rights...

Director(s): Lindsey Grayzel
Production: Goodwin Grayzel Productions
Actors: Cynthia Ward, Angelo Dileo, Jay O'Hara, Laura Byerly, Leonard Higgins, Annette Klapstein
Year: 2018
Duration: 77 min
Language (audio): English
Country of origin: United States
Shooting Locations: United States
Our age recommendation: 14
Screening rights: Goodwin Grayzel Productions ()

More information...


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Main topic(s): Energy Human Potential
Secondary topics: climate courage activism
Mentions: Shell Greenpeace protest Arctic oil Skagit County global warming coal moral break free from fossil fuels Exxon Mobil civil disobedience pipeline North Dakota XL Keystone Transmountain Ken Ward court case
Topic Page(s): Climate Energy Human Potential



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Scientific & journalistic quality

Transfer of a momentum

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