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In Conversation: Darren Aronofsky

Hollywood director wrestles with Alberta’s “out of whack” tar sands on a trip with the Sierra Club and Leonardo DiCaprio

Filmmaker Darren Aronofsky just returned from an excursion to see up close and personal the Alberta tar sands, and judging by his response to how oil companies are impacting the environment, this unregulated part of Canada sounds more like the Wild West…
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by: Ed Rampell – August 29, 2014

In Review: Noah

An over-the-top, big budget environmental allegory for our age

Why has Paramount Pictures produced a $135 million, 138-minute blockbuster starring two Oscar winners based on the Biblical fable of Noah at this time? Cinema can be considered merely escapist mass entertainment. Or, like the Bible itself, film can be viewed as…
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by: Ed Rampell – April 25, 2014

Film Review: A Fierce Green Fire

Rousing PBS documentary covering 50 years of environmentalism to honor Earth Day

Mark Kitchell’s 1990 Oscar nominated documentary Berkeley in the Sixties covered the campus activism that disrupted the House Un-American Activities Committee’s hearings, launched the Free Speech Movement, fought the police at People’s Park, and inspired student spokesman Mario Savio to declare: “There…
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by: Ed Rampell – April 18, 2014

Thanks to the Deepwater Horizon Spill, the World is No Longer Black Fishermen’s Oyster

Film Review: Vanishing Pearls

The hard-hitting new documentary Vanishing Pearls: The Oystermen of Pointe á la Hache, which premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival this week, is full of pearls of wisdom. In the documentary, director Nailah Jefferson holds these truths to be self evident: That…
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by: Ed Rampell – January 24, 2014

A Well-Told Tale of A Daring Big Cat Rescue Operation

Film Review: Lion Ark

Lion Ark is a film about a daring rescue operation that liberated 25 lions from bondage. But not, to use another Biblical analogy, from “way down in Egypt land” – rather, from circuses in Bolivia. This engrossing documentary combines elements of Steven…
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by: Ed Rampell – November 8, 2013

Story of Black Bloc’s Benedict Arnold Highlights FBI Surveillance of Activists

Film Review: Informant

Shortly before Edward Snowden’s revelations of the NSA’s all-pervasive Big Brother snooping, at least three print magazine published cover stories presaging his disclosures: Earth Island Journal’s “Prying Eyes” looked at how corporations and law enforcement agencies were spying on environmentalists; The Progressive…
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by: Ed Rampell – October 4, 2013

‘SeaWorld Staff Have Become Master Storytellers Who Believe Their Own Tales’

A Conversation with Blackfish director Gabriela Cowperthwaite

The riveting new documentary Blackfish, which makes a powerful argument that marine life parks are gulags for sea creatures run by corporations in order to reap profits, is sure to make a cinematic splash. Blackfish focuses on Tilikum, the 12,000 pound, 22-foot…
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by: Ed Rampell – July 19, 2013

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