Category Archives: Film Series

MAY film: THE TRUE COST

May Film: THE TRUE COST (of Fast Fashion)

When: Wednesday, May 8 at 7 pm  Location: Peacock Hall

THE TRUE COST makes an excellent case for examining the Fast Fashion market more closely and adding up what’s really gained and lost. Fast Fashion is a mode of business that requires millions of new products to reach the market each week at incredibly low prices. It has pushed into overdrive an industry that was already guilty of pollution, waste, and worker abuse. It’s not a glamorous scene, but it ends by shining a light on a promising new trend.

Fashion discarded

Scrupulous, Comprehensive Research

Scrupulously researched, this film is one of the most comprehensive documentaries ever made about fashion’s dark side, taking the viewer from the expansive cotton fields of Texas to the showrooms of Paris and London, to the factories in Bangladesh and Southeast Asia where workers are beaten into submission and sometimes killed because they organize for better pay and safe working conditions.

Counter Trends Triggered by FF Excesses

The film also shows examples of modern farmers, designers, and manufacturers who dare to defy global trends and do business on an ethical basis, forgoing cutthroat competition in favor of a more collaborative approach. The film is partially responsible for the burgeoning ethical fashion movement around the world.

An optional discussion follows the film.

92 minutes in duration, with SDH captions.

Trailer: http://youtu.be/OaGp5_Sfbss

March SR film: EDGE OF THE WILD

March film: EDGE OF THE WILD

WHEN: Wed, March 13, 7:00-8:30   WHERE: Peacock Hall

Over eight years in the making, this inspiring local environmental drama follows a fight by citizens to uphold the Endangered Species Act. The objective is to reverse a national policy that would allow a local landowner to destroy the endangered Mission Blue butterflies’ habitat on San Bruno Mountain. This is an area of remarkably intact wilderness that is just one mile south of San Francisco, and it’s completely surrounded by urbanization.

We travel the mountain’s native canyons and hillsides and meet Michele Salmon. She is a lifelong resident of the small town of Brisbane, located on the mountain. In the 1960s, Michelle‘s family played a major role in thwarting a real estate developers’ plans to scrape off the top of the mountain for a new city. The film follows her as she continues her parent’s legacy.

Endangered Butterfly — San Bruno Mtn.

Eventually, in return for a permit, the landowners agree to pursue specific management protections for endangered and threatened species. This amendment to the Endangered Species Act is especially crafted for Mount San Bruno Mountain and is called a habitat conservation plan (HCP). Since then, HCP‘s have been used in over a thousand areas in almost every state, affecting wilderness preservation across the country. In time, the County of San Mateo purchased 80% of the mountain.

The film is 60 minutes. Captions are used.

Trailer: https://youtu.be/l9AJezPBlt0

Details about the three species of butterflies on the mountain that are protected by the Endangered Species Act: http://www.mountainwatch.org/butterflies-and-wildlife

February Film: ECO-COMEDY SHORTS

ECO-COMEDY SHORT FILMS

WHEN: Wed, Feb 13, 7:00-8:30 pm

WHERE: Peacock Hall

DESCRIPTION: An Eco-Comedy collection of environmental short films that provoke thought . . . and chuckles!

A  special evening of light-hearted short films on a variety of environmental topics will be presented by Sustainable Rossmoor. Educating with humor can be a powerful . . . and fun. The club’s first Eco-Comedy production in 2017 was very popular; this is an all new collection.

A panel of Rossmoor judges previewed a large number of nominations submitted by residents as well as culled from national eco-comedy film festivals to create a delightful evening while taking a fresh look at a large variety of subjects. You might wonder, what could be amusing about global warming, climate change, solar energy, wind power, plastic, water pollution, air pollution, traffic, landfill, oil spills, concern for other species, food waste, overpopulation, or extreme weather. Come to the theater and find out; see if you agree that these environmental short films provoke thought . . . and chuckles!

Please make your suggestions for the club’s next collection of eco-comedy short films by using the “Contact us” link on this website.

For links to some of last year’s (2017) ECO-COMEDY SHORT FILMS selections, go to: https://sustainablerossmoor.org/eco-comedy-shorts/

The full collection (73 minutes) of the Sustainable Rossmoor 2019 Eco-Comedy Short Films can be viewed at:
Individual segments are here:
Man’s Best Friend (2 min)  http://youtu.be/BcjdV4LXPeo
Environmental Pollution (3.5 min)   http://youtu.be/tmhiglxga-4
The Front Fell Off (2 min)   https://youtu.be/3m5qxZm_JqM
Community Garden (2 min)   https://youtu.be/mQ-30vtZAfs
A Jon Stewart Tirade (7 min)   http://youtu.be/lPgZfhnCAdI
A Grocery Store War (6 min) Stop-action animated   https://youtu.be/hVrIyEu6h_E
Wa’ar Tasting (1.5 min)   http://youtu.be/GceNsojnMf0
Self-Driving Bike (3 min)   https://youtu.be/ZwzKn6XRH70
Single-Use Plastic Rap Song (3 min)   http://youtu.be/koETnR0NgLY
Nuclear Meltdown (1 min)   http://youtu.be/ON9G4mIsNvQ
Steeri (2.3 min)   https://youtu.be/wf1xR2kX3rU
Feeling Warm on the Inside (36 sec)   https://youtu.be/4kbEHOLUo8I
Elephants in the room (40 sec)   https://youtu.be/fyjLn9P5LwA
Green Police on Recycling (1 min)   http://youtu.be/PVPyHrPZbVM
Bottled Water Tasting (4 min)   https://youtu.be/YFKT4jvN4OE
BP Oil Spill (3 min)   https://youtu.be/ClvLp4vXJ5I
Eco-Warrior Challenges (2.5 min)   http://youtu.be/_jtnsrDjr8M
Skip the Straw (4 min)   https://youtu.be/7IqxJUx_l24
Climate Change Denial Disorder (1 min)   http://youtu.be/fZTTI_0mHN0
Same Way We Treat the Earth (1 min)   https://youtu.be/trjzjNxPgOU
Overpopulation Solutions (3 min)   http://youtu.be/FgvsASTTMnc
Get Acclimatized (1 min)   https://youtu.be/TQlHaGhYoF0
Best Electric Products (1 min)   http://youtu.be/loT7DNgH_yo
Extreme Weather, Rising Tides (30 sec)   https://t.co/s7ECgmFobe
The Natural Label (4.5 min)   https://youtu.be/AftZshnP8fs
12 Days of Garbage (2.5 min)   https://youtu.be/frdfRWfy6k4
The Threat of Wind Power (3 min)   https://youtu.be/F0UkH81NMTo
Twizzlers instead of Straws (1 min)   https://youtu.be/pDG4WOvXW9I
Traveling in Groups (1.5 min)   https://youtu.be/FIlMhPhkoSA

January Film: THE WAVE

JANUARY film: THE WAVE

When: Wednesday, JANUARY 9th, 7 pm;   Where: Peacock Theater   

This thrilling feature film about a landslide-generated tsunami opens with old news footage of a landslide hurtling toward a small town, and the statement “It’s only a matter of time before the next big disaster.”

The Film’s Location

It’s high season for tourists, yet Geologist Kristian Elkjord and his family are leaving their idyllic Norwegian village to move to the city . . . but they are one day too late. Although forewarned, no one is really ready when the mountain pass above the scenic, narrow fjord sends tons of rock and earth crashing into the water, causing a 280-foot high tsunami – the wave. Our hero works at the warning station, sounds the loud siren, but everyone has only ten minutes to get to higher ground. The drama that unfolds is based on reality.

Glaciers, Landslides, and Tsunamis

Such geologic catastrophes occur often in real-life, and they are becoming more common due to climate change and receding glaciers. Glaciers help to hold the walls of icy narrow valleys in place. When there is a large landslide with a sudden displacement of material into a body of water, a very large wave is created called a megatsunami. They are more than 10 times as large as the much smaller type of wave caused by an underwater earthquake.  Just such a tsunami hit the Sunda Strait in Indonesia after the collapse of a wall of the Krakatoa Volcano into the ocean during an eruption last month.

Landslide Tsunami Effect

Several megatsunamis have occurred in uninhabited fjords in Alaska. The largest on record occurred in 1958 in Lituya Bay, Alaska. It destroyed trees up to an elevation of 1720 feet — a third of a mile high. In 2015 (the same year our film was released) a 633-foot high megatsunami occurred in the Taan fjord in Alaska. In 2017, a fishing village in Greenland was washed into the sea and 4 people were killed. Scientists have identified and are monitoring multiple likely future sites all over the world.

 

This film won awards for best visual effects, best score, and best editing.

It is in Norwegian with English subtitles.   Length:  1 hr 45 min.

Trailer: https://www.imdb.com/videoplayer/vi2929702169

December Film: CARBON NATION

December film: Carbon Nation

When: Wednesday, December 12, 7 pm; Where: Peacock Theater

DOCUMENTARY FOCUS

Carbon Nation, a peppy documentary directed by Peter Byck, is perfectly timed given the urgency of the climate crisis publicized in the recent IPCC report. It is addressed to Americans who already believe that we must make drastic changes in the way we live as a nation and as individuals. But even more, it is targeted to those who do not care or are antagonistic toward talk of global warming. That is why you will see spokespersons for large corporations, the military, and entrepreneurs stating that a low-carbon economy is good for business. Byck has gathered an astonishing and varied group of American citizens to educate us about solutions to the very-real crisis we are facing. It’s pragmatism is appealing across the political spectrum. It celebrates solutions, inspiration, and action.

LOW CARBON ACTIVISTS

The most enthusiastic and hopeful believer in a low-carbon economy and its positive impact on poor people is Van Jones, a civil rights activist who founded Green For All which brings new jobs in this burgeoning field to disadvantaged communities. A magic moment for him is watching trainees of Solar Richmond & Grid Alternatives installing solar panels in a California home.

Another activist is Bernie Karl, a geothermal pioneer in Alaska who has found a way to use 165 degree water to create geothermal power. He has come up with what many are calling a game-changing technology which can wean us from dependence on oil.

Dan Nolan, a former army colonel, shares the workings of the Green Hawks, people in the U.S. Department of Defense who are pushing the Pentagon’s move toward energy efficiency and sustainable power. There is a competition among base commanders around the US to become the first net-zero-energy base, to create all the energy they use, to use water in the most efficient manner, and to have bio-waste energy generators on base. Being off the grid makes the military more resistant to terrorism.

Cliff Etheredge, a rancher in West Texas, brags about the money he and others are making by leasing their land to wind companies. This project of green energy has brought new life back to a dying community.

Others featured in this engrossing documentary talk about:

  • the benefits of white roofs (Dr. Arthur Rosenfeld),
  • the search for a biofuel replacement for jet fuel (Richard Branson),
  • the generation of energy at or near the site where energy is used (Amory Lovins),
  • the fact that going green will save U.S. companies millions of dollars and create many new businesses (Thomas I. Friedman),
  • the benefits of plug-in hybrid cars (R. James Woolsey),
  • and the challenge of making energy efficiency in homes and offices universally accessible (James Rogers).

CONSENSUS VIEW

The consensus view of these movers and shakers in American society is that climate change can be dealt with before it is too late, but only if citizens, politicians, scientists, and businesses all work together on some of the solutions presented on Carbon Nation.

It is 84 minutes long. Sorry, no captions.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLs73KJI36w

November Film: DIVIDE IN CONCORD

November Film: DIVIDE IN CONCORD
When: November 14 at 7 pm   Where:  Peacock Theater

In this documentary, Patriot Jean Hill (84) took her battle to ban plastic bottles in Concord, Mass, and teaches us what the combination of science along with the charm, courage, and determination of a concerned grandmother can accomplish.

In 1775, Concord patriots fired the ‘shot heard round the world’ that began the Revolution.

Jean Hill

Over 200 years later, Jean Hill is ready to fire the next shot, and it’s directly at the bottled water industry. 84 year old Jean has spent three years trying to get her town to ban single serve bottled water, and this is looking like her last attempt. With strong opposition from local merchants, and a town that has already voted against her three years in a row, will it ever be possible for Jean to win?

“A fascinating, entertaining look at how persistence and citizen action still mean something in a corporate-controlled society.” Michael Moore

Inspired by learning about the amount of garbage that these single serving bottles create, Jean actually tries to do something about it, which is something that we could all learn a lesson from. Divide In Concord follows her efforts to finally ban bottled water in her town, even after her previous attempts have failed.

She’s feisty, and doesn’t let her age slow her down, standing up to anybody who would go against her. Many of us wouldn’t even think of banning bottled water, but the effects of those empty plastic containers are drastic, and Jean won’t stand for it any longer.

The real highlight of the film, besides Jean and her frequently foul mouth, are the arguments against her bottle ban. Complete ignorance of the damage these bottles cause, and the kind of extreme reasons her opponents come up with, are hilarious to listen to, mainly because of how ridiculous they are.

Trailer: https://youtu.be/TCve9xVj_yg

82 minutes. SDH captions.

October Film: Oil and Water

When:  October 10, 7:00 pm    Where:  Peacock Hall

Oil and Water, a multiple award-winning documentary film, is an intimate portrait of two young people finding their voices and trying to beat incredible odds as they confront one of the world’s worst toxic pollution disasters in Ecuador and the Amazon Rainforest.

For decades U.S. oil companies colluded with a corrupt Ecuadorian government to recklessly pollute the land and waters of the Amazon Rainforest.  Native tribes were displaced, much of the local culture destroyed, and cancer and other disease rates increased.

But two teenage heroes emerge among the many that have been fighting throughout the destruction and since.  As the title implies, oil and water do not mix well.  Eight years in the making, this documentary follows Hugo and David on a journey that leads them to explore a more just future for people around the world born with oil beneath their feet.

The film is 72 min. long with captions.

Oil and Water reveals the social and ecological trauma of our global fossil fuel culture and how it shapes the lives of an indigenous population in Ecuador. The film also demonstrates the collaborative, visionary creativity that can also emerge from that space of pain, urgency, and love for humanity and our life support systems. I have followed the struggle of the Cofan people for decades and just when I thought all hope was lost, this film gives me reason for renewing my conviction in the power of struggle, the power of the people hit hardest by environmental injustice – and their allies – to imagine and forge new possibilities.” David Naguib Pellow, Professor of Sociology, University of Minnesota, Author, Resisting Global Toxics: Transnational Movements for Environmental Justice.

“Great film…arresting…Oil and Water is the most complete portrait of how societies might move beyond ‘the oil curse’ to use resources from crude development to benefit the local communities from which it is found. Or, possibly, as a launching point to standardize and regulate best practices in the entire industry…It is a story of recovery but also of the need for aggressive assistance and understanding. Oil and Water puts a very human face on the ground-level of the extraction that is fueled by distant consumers.” Dr. Brian Black, Professor, History and Environmental Studies, Penn State Altoona, Author, Crude Reality: Petroleum in World History.

“An important film–it puts a human face on the very real and severe consequences of our thirst for oil. Yet it also gives viewers hope in the way it shows how two young adults can make meaningful changes to the world around them.” Dr. Benjamin Sovacool, Director of Danish Center for Energy Technology, AU-Herning, Associate Professor of Law, Founding Director of the Energy Security and Justice Program, Vermont Law School, Author, Energy and Ethics: Justice and the Global Energy Challenge.

Official Website and trailer: To see a trailer, go to http://www.oilandwaterdocumentary.com/ and click on the documentary’s lead photo.

September Film: NO IMPACT MAN

September Film: NO IMPACT MAN

When:  September 12, 7:00 pm

Where:  Peacock Hall

This award-winning documentary tells the story of author Colin Beavan, who went completely “green” in NYC, giving up virtually all of the comforts of modern living — electricity, gas-powered transportation, non-local food and landfill waste disposal — in a drastic effort to curb his environmental impact. 
The camera captures many joyful moments, such as stomping on laundry in the bathtub and shopping at a dairy farm, as well as the toll this well-intentioned, year-long project takes on Beavan’s wife and 2-year old baby daughter. Ultimately, it saves them over $1,000/month and brings this family closer together. 

In November 2006 author Colin Beavan, started a research project for his next book ‘No Impact Project’. Intending to actualize some of his Zen Buddhist beliefs, this newly self-proclaimed environmentalist asked himself:
“Why do I have to wait for congress to do something? Why do I have to wait for big business to do something? Why don’t I do something?! “

He could no longer avoid pointing the finger at himself. He left behind his liberal complacency for a vow to make as little environmental impact as possible for one year.
No more automated transportation, no more electricity, no more non-local food, no more material consumption… no problem. That is, until his espresso-guzzling, retail-worshipping wife Michelle and their two year-old daughter are dragged into the fray.

The documentary shares the highs and lows of the families journey to sustainable living, including Michelle’s year off from consuming fashion. From ditching meat and shopping from bulk food bins and farmers markets.

Michelle called him a “1900’s house wife” as he cooked, composted, and cleaned for the family all without relying on most 21st century conveniences. Colin made all of their cleaning products with borax, baking soda (the box was compostable) and vinegar.

The film transitions to reality-tv territory at times when the couple have heartfelt discussions about the possibility of adding another member to their family, and Michelle’s ‘eco-slips’ in regards to coffee and ‘camping at home’ despite a hate of camping. While these hurdles can be dealt with from the family unit, some of the biggest challenges that the household faced was both positive and negative media coverage.

After the experiment was over, Colin and Michelle did bring back the the electricity and their fridge but still don’t use the freezer, a dishwasher, an AC, or have a TV. They also traveled by air to see family. They remain very conscious of their trash output. They continue to try and not buy anything new, preferring to source from secondhand places. They’ve lost weight, sleep better, have more energy, and save over $1,000/month.

Trailer: https://youtu.be/D58kZfqTrjY

 

 

Civil DISOBEDIENCE, fighting for Our Environment

Civil Disobedience, fighting for OUR Environment

When:  August 8, 7:00 pm
Where:  Peacock Hall

DISOBEDIENCE is a persuasive and handsomely produced documentary from the activist organization 350.org. Disobedience tells the David vs. Goliath tale of front line leaders battling for a livable world. Filmed in the Philippines, Turkey, Germany, Canada, Cambodia and the United States, it weaves together these riveting stories with insights from the most renowned voices on social justice and climate. Disobedience is personal, passionate and powerful — the stakes could not be higher, nor the mission more critical.

A panel discussion will follow this 41 minute film — See Discussants List Below

Residents who’ve been brave enough to step up and risk being arrested will share their stories. We’ll ask the questions: When is it justified? Does it help or hurt a cause? Does it have a lasting benefit?

The future of the planet is under attack. In just the past few years, we’ve witnessed unprecedented waves of brutal storms, massive oil spills engulfing our oceans and sea life, and the hottest temperatures ever recorded in human history. Climate change is real, and it’s up to the will of the people to reverse its adverse effects. This is the argument that drives the film.

The film begins with a critical eye on the actions undertaken at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Summit in Paris. While each world leader seemed satisfied by the outcomes of their conference, the film contends that their final agreement does little to change the tide of global warming in the years to come. Believing that the call for real and lasting change cannot be answered by often impotent politicians, the film showcases a diverse group of activists throughout the globe who have taken the fight into their own hands.

Lidy Nacpil, a spokesperson for the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice, works to galvanize a citizen force against a proposed coal plant in Batangas. The plant would produce over 7 million metric tons of CO2 emissions every year, and therefore poses a severe environmental threat. The country knows from experience how the voice of its people can inspire wide sweeping change. In 1986, urgent protests led to the ousting of dictator Ferdinand Marcos. A growing community of like-minded citizens hope to spark the same level of passion and outcry against the region’s blossoming fossil fuel industries.

In Canada, a rapidly expanding pipeline is gradually polluting the purity of the ocean water and other natural resources. Area residents refuse to take a payout from big corporations in exchange for their complacency. They choose to fight.

In one profile after another, DISOBEDIENCE introduces us to inspiring groups of people who are advocating for a better way of life for their families, their communities and their planet. In the process, scientists and scholars educate viewers on the role of civil disobedience in affecting reform, the economic impact of environmental catastrophe, and the myriad of social issues which are worsening in the midst of climate change.

Trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmynS5zkbQM

PANEL DISCUSSION

When Is Civil Disobedience warranted? Add your voice to those of the three panelists discussing non-violent direct action in defense of the environment on Wednesday, August 8th after the movie sponsored by Sustainable Rossmoor. The film DISOBEDIENCE starts at 7:00 pm in Peacock Hall, the panel discussion follows at 7:45 pm. Information about the film is in the movie section.
The panelists will share their stories and rationale for occasions when they veered from their professional lives to lead or join with others to defy authority. They include Steve Nadel, Janice Kirsch, and Rossmoor resident Bob Hanson; the moderator will be Marcia McLean, President of Sustainable Rossmoor. There will be time for your questions and comments.

PANELISTS

STEVE NADEL states that the essential message of non-violent civil disobedience is “It is time to end Business as Usual. When our institutions fail to protect or actively endanger our health, environment and climate we must step in to say the harm must end now.” Steve started his political organizing at the height of the Viet Nam war, and the first Earth Day in 1970. Later in the 1980’s, he took direct action at the Port Chicago Naval Weapons station to stop arms shipments to Central America. Recently, he helped organize a blockade by Sunflower Alliance at the Kinder Morgan rail lines in Richmond, when they attempted to sneak in fracked Baaken Crude to the Chevron refinery. Steve has testified multiple times at the Bay Area Air Quality Management District but also is ready to lead a protest at the Phillips 66 marine terminal in Rodeo to prevent expansion designed to accommodate Alberta tar sands.

JANICE KIRSCH, MD, MPH, is a physician who has been deeply concerned about climate disruption since her Berkeley pre-med days in the 1970’s. She has also been an activist with Physicians for Social Responsibility and been arrested for peaceful direct action on two occasions. She serves on the steering committee for 350 Bay Area, on the Board of Directors of The Climate Mobilization, and as a presenter for The Climate Reality Project.
Since climate chaos is the greatest public health threat that humankind has ever faced, she sees civil disobedience as a medical as well as a moral calling.
BOB HANSON, a Rossmoor resident, is an anti-war and anti-nuclear weapons activist who plans on being arrested Monday, Aug. 6th for the 4th time. This will happen at the annual Livermore Labs protest on Hiroshima Day. Bob was a founding member of both the Rossmoor Peace & Justice Club and Sustainable Rossmoor. Bob is very passionate about the environment, but has yet to be arrested for any actions in this area. But he says: “I won’t rule it out.”