Sweetgrass is an entertaining documentary that was filmed over 8 years by Ilisa Barbash and her Harvard anthropologist husband, Lucien Castaing-Taylor. The film presents a riveting and poetic portrait of modern-day sheepherders, a Norwegian-American family living a way of life that is dying out. Shot amidst the grandeur of Montana's Absaroka-Beartooth wilderness, the film follows the last shepherds to lead their flocks of sheep up into breathtaking and often dangerous mountains for summer pasture. This film reveals a candid and magnificently photographed world in which nature and culture, animals and humans are all intimately meshed. Fascinating viewing!
Unacceptable Levels, winner of the Health and Environmental Prize at the 30th International Film Festival in Paris, is a powerful documentary film about the widespread use of artificial chemicals and their effects on the natural environment and on human health. Follow director Ed Brown, as he uncovers the impact chemicals are having on our food, and the environment. Unacceptable Levels is a huge eye-opener, as it's the first film that examines the results of the chemical revolution of the 1940's. This is a story that we need to see and hear.
Annie Leonard has created another wonderful film, The Story of Solutions. Premiering on October 1st, The Story of Solutions explores what it will take to build a more sustainable, healthy and fair economy. Annie Leonard hopes you’ll participate in the programs, campaigns and events she's organizing as part of a yearlong focus on Solutions.
Please take the time to watch this short film:
The Story of Cosmetics examines the pervasive use of toxic chemicals in our everyday personal care products, from lipstick to baby shampoo. The seven minute long Story of Cosmetics is hosted by Annie Leonard, revealing the implications for consumers and worker health, and the environment. The film outlines ways we can move the industry away from hazardous chemicals and towards safer alternatives.
To learn more about safer products, visit the EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database.
Let's all support brands that make non-toxic, chemical-free personal care products, and help make those the norm rather than the exception.
The Queen of the Trees, directed by Mark Deeble and Victoria Stone and narrated by Patricia Clarkson is the story of a Sycamore Fig, one of the many found along a river in Africa. This one tree is so full of life! Watch it and learn about the many different animals that depend on the tree for sustenance. It's quite remarkable how many species visit the tree, but there is one that is especially important, the tiny fig wasp. The footage is truly extraordinary, as we the viewer gets a very close-up view of the goings on in just one giant Sycamore fig, a fascinating story that has never been told before.
What Plants Talk About, written and directed by Erna Buffie, is a fascinating close-up look into the world of plants above and beneath the ground. I was delighted to learn how busy and complex plants are. Plants have managed to adapt and evolve, but also cooperate in order to survive. We are all connected and I've always felt that since I was a little girl and explored the woods and fields on my family's property in Maine in the summers. This film has such amazing footage and is great viewing for the whole family.
Wings of Life directed by Louie Schwartzberg and narrated by Meryl Streep, has the most incredible close-up footage I've ever seen. It's not only astonishing but fascinating as well. Watch up close the intricate world of butterflies, bees, birds and bats and learn how essential they are to health of our planet. This film will knock your socks off! Can't wait to watch it again!
Garden for Wildlife is part of as series of short eco-films produced by the G2 Gallery and directed, filmed and edited by Erik Friedl. In Garden for Widlife, we learn from David Mizejewski, a National Wildlife Federation naturalist "how each of us can make a difference for wildlife by restoring habitat right in our own garden. Whether you're in the city, suburbs or country, each of us can do simple things to help wildlife and then certify our gardens with National Wildlife Federation as official wildlife habitats." I found this film very informative and is a must see for garden and nature enthusiasts.
Xiuhtezcatl Martinez is an extraordinary 12-year-old environmental activist from Boulder, Colorado and the leader of Earth Guardians. He credits his heritage for teaching him a deep connection to the Earth that "life is sacred and should be protected. In order to change the world, we have to change the way we think about earth and others" He was the youngest and one of the most inspired speakers at the Rio+20 United Nations Summit in Rio Brazil 2012. Peter Gabriel's organization Witness, made a short documentary about Xiuhtezcatl and his story, which was featured in "Trust Colorado". It won the 2012 Best Environmental Film Documentary of the year.
In case you missed the 3-part series shown recently on PBS's Nature, about the life and work of Sir David Attenborough called aptly Life Stories, it will be released on DVD this month. Sir David Attenborough takes us down memory lane, whether it's an unexpected close-up with a Komodo Dragon or a nocturnal encounter with an adorable Kiwi, to present day where he gets to show off some incredible footage of an army of Ants, possible only because of the technically innovative camera equipment available today.
I have enjoyed watching David Attenborough's shows since I was a child, inspiring me to open up my eyes, mind and soul to nature's wonders and instilling in me a better understanding and respect for the wild.