Consumed: Inside the Belly of the Beast – A Slackjaw Film

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How many brand names are within your arms’ reach? How new is the computer on which you’re reading this? Are you wearing clothing that bears a popular name? Are you carrying a cell phone, iPod, or Blackberry? How much stuff surrounds you? And how much do you buy into the need to have even more?

I just finished watching Consumed: Inside the Belly of the Beast, a Slackjaw Film. It’s an extremely thoughtful video that put my own participation in consumerism into perspective — and into question….
Perhaps you’re caught in the consumerism web, too. If you’re in the U.S., it’s hard to avoid today: it’s the mother of all consumer days here: Black Friday….

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Top Ten Must-See Environmental Films

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There are some fantastic films on the environment, but it can often be difficult to find the truly great ones. To make your life a little bit easier, here is a list of ten fantastic, eye-opening movies for any individual passionate about saving our planet. 10. Tapped, 2009 Director Stephanie Soechtig’s examination of the bottled […]

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Saving Dolphins

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When the Oscar award-winning film, The Cove, was released last year, I resisted seeing it. The trailers upset me. I anticipated that the film would be emotionally devastating. I love dolphins. I have warm memories of watching the television program Flipper as a child. I’ve been thrilled to see a pod of dolphins playfully dive in and out of the water as they passed by a time-share condo in Florida that I once shared with my grandmother and my sister.

I’ve experienced a combination of emotions when seeing dolphins perform in various aquariums around North America: joy, sadness, curiosity, concern. I’ve sat by the window in the subterranean viewing area of our Vancouver Aquarium, watching the Pacific white-sided dolphins swim up to the window and wondering at how healthy and happy they are in their bleak enclosure.

I finally was convinced by my teenage son to watch The Cove this week. We downloaded it from our cable provider, and my son, husband and I sat down to watch it together. It was even more emotionally devastating than I had anticipated.

By the time the film was over, I felt completely emotionally overwhelmed. There were deep, deep sobs heaving within me, threatening to engulf me, but I wanted to debrief the film with my son. So I released a few tears and took a few deep breaths. We talked first of all about the dolphins in our local aquarium….

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“Get Dirty!” Says Filmmaker Gene Rosow

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Have you ever finished watching a film and wished you could have a conversation with the director? After reviewing Dirt! The Movie, Blue Planet Green Living (BPGL) was privileged to speak by phone with Gene Rosow, who, along with Bill Benenson, directed and produced the film for Common Ground Media and Docurama Films. We asked Rosow, initially, to tell us he would most like viewers to know.

He said, “There’s a movement I’m hearing across the country — and this is consistent with your website — we have to do something.”

Dirt! The Movie is a remarkable documentary that we think is well worth seeing. The film is being released for sale today on the Dirt! website and in stores across the U.S….

BPGL: This is a pretty unique topic. How did you decide to make a film about dirt?

ROSOW: As filmmakers, Bill Benenson and myself did not begin with the idea that we’re going to make a message film, necessarily. We are both experienced filmmakers in terms of feature film production. I‘ve worked as a producer of feature films ranging from independents to studio films and documentary filming.

A mutual friend gave us this book called, Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth. Speaking for myself, it hit every part of my past experience both as a documentary filmmaker and a feature film producer wanting to tell stories that were positive….

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Dirt! The Movie – The Soil Under Your Feet Is Alive!

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Since the beginning of time, of all the planets in all the galaxies in the known universe, only one has a living, breathing skin called dirt. — Dirt! The Movie

We wash it off our hands, our clothes, our cars, our bodies. We walk on it, drive on it, dig in it, build on it. We bury our loved ones in it. And in it we grow the plants that feed us. But how much do we really know about the dirt beneath our feet? …

Recently, I received an advance copy of Dirt! The Movie, a documentary that opened my mind to the wonders of soil. I’ve watched a lot of great videos in the past year: Food Inc., A River of Waste, Blue Gold, and more….

But Dirt!, directed and produced by Bill Benenson and Gene Rosow, stands out for me, probably because the content was so surprising and enlightening. Let’s face it, few of us talk very deeply about dirt in our daily conversations. We may complain about the health of the local rivers and waterways. We may talk about the horrible chemicals added to processed foods, the pesticides and herbicides that coat our foods. But it’s not often that we discuss worms and microbes and the exchange of nutrients in the soil. (Well, maybe you do.)

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Planet Earth Video Inspires Awe and Action

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“A hundred years ago there were one and a half billion people on earth; now over six billion people crowd our fragile planet. But even so there are still places barely touched by humanity,” says narrator David Attenborough in the opening scene of the 11-part mini-series, Planet Earth. “This series will take you to the last wildernesses and show you the planet and its wildlife as you have never seen them before.”

Four years before audiences around the world saw the wonderment of Planet Earth on television, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) set out to make the most ambitious documentary ever witnessed. Planet Earth captures the full range of experiences in observing wildlife in their natural setting, and arouses emotions in the viewer typically associated with major Hollywood films….

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Indie Film “A River of Waste” Issues Urgent Call to “Vote with Our Ballots as Well as Our Forks”

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“Only after the last tree is cut down, the last of the water poisoned, the last animal destroyed… Only then will you realize you cannot eat money.” — Cree Indian Prophecy

So begins the documentary film A River of Waste, setting the stage for a discussion of how agriculture in the U.S. — and indeed, much of the world — has left behind the family farm and turned into profits-at-any-cost Big Ag. And there are costs — costs to the animals kept in filth and confinement; costs to the environment in air, soil, and water pollution; and costs to the health and well-being of people.

This excellent indie film presents a story that has been carefully researched and seamlessly assembled to show consumers just how dangerous CAFOs are. But it doesn’t stop there; it presents solutions in the form of regulations and practices that are common in the European Union…

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An Arctic Journey in a Changing World

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“What I have to share with you is more story-telling than science,” says David Thoreson, “but I truly believe I am the canary just back from the coal mine, the ground zero of climate change.”

An Arctic Journey in a Changing World chronicles the adventures of six intrepid sailors on the Cloud Nine, a 57-foot ketch, as it attempts to traverse the Northwest Passage. Produced by Chris Gourley of Iowa Public Television, the film tells the story of the crew’s journey from St. Anthony, Newfoundland, east to west across North America, to dock at last in Dutch Harbor, Alaska…

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Indie Film Describes “Certain Adverse Events” from Antibiotic Use

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“If you were to look at how prescription drugs are developed and marketed, you might never take a prescription drug again.” So begins the film Certain Adverse Events. Reading the statement on the screen, I felt the first twinge of alarm that I was about to learn more than I might really want to know. And that’s just what happened. The film showed how vulnerable we health consumers are when we take a prescription medicine. We can’t know what the side effects will be — because even the FDA and the drug companies often don’t know. A scary thought, indeed…

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Take Action to Support Healthy Foods

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Over the weekend we saw the movie, Food, Inc. with friends. We were told to have dinner first because the movie would take away our appetite. We didn’t doubt that possibility. But, for one very simple reason, we don’t have the same kind, or the same level, of concern: We know where nearly all our food comes from, and we know the producers and growers who provide it.

Still, the movie is unsettling. None of us were vegetarians before seeing the movie, nor did we leave ready to become vegetarians. But the level of cruel and inhumane treatment of animals in the film was difficult to watch. And, witnessing the levels of bacteria, chemicals, and waste products involved in America’s industrialized food system was very disconcerting, to say the least…

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Earth Cinema Circle – Environmental Films in Your Mailbox

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At the beginning of 2009, Joe and I signed up with Earth Cinema Circle, which sends us a DVD every two months. Each DVD contains four videos about environmental topics. As members, we receive the same DVD as everyone else, enabling common conversations among like-minded individuals. Topics include:

* Wildlife
* Adventurous Eco-Travel
* People Making a Positive Difference to Our Planet
* Environmental Choices
* Conservation…

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Who Killed the Electric Car? (DVD)

December 26, 2008 by  
Filed under Blog, Car, DVDs, Electric Cars, Front Page, Movie Reviews

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“What is the danger of the electric car? The danger is that it can stop you from buying oil.” — Who Killed the Electric Car?

You won’t find a General Motors EV-1 on the streets of your city, my city, or any city. It’s dead, and GM killed it. But why?

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