- Wind turbines are monsters that will devour your children.
Well, the Environmental Film Festival sure is arriving at an interesting time. After managing a quarter century without a catastrophe — and thus, earning broad political support in the U.S. — the nuclear energy industry is on the brink of a major setback, what with the situation at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant seeming to worsen by the day. There are at least four films at this year's festival, which begins today, that raise concerns about nuclear energy or weapons. Why do I write "at least"? Is it that hard to count? Well, yes. Over the next two weeks, the festival is screening 150 films at more than 60 venues in the District. If that doesn't sound overwhelming, then I entreat you to browse the massive program [pdf] for yourself. Or you could join me on this trail strewn with embedded videos, which you won't find on the EFF's website.
(Click on titles for showtimes and locations.)
This Finnish drama teams two university biologists with an "uneducated but smart" lumberjack who go tromping through the country's remote backwoods and, if this unsubtitled trailer is any indication, spend most of their time cackling and waving their arms like flightless birds.
This appears to be a tone poem about a French naval vessel patrolling Pacific waters in 1972, while nuclear tests are being conducted. Looks very pretty, and very French.
The other day, a friend asked me why the Valdez spill seemed worse than the BP spill, which was much greater. I didn't have an answer until I read this. And now I'm curious to see this documentary, even if the narrator grates a little.
Mountaintop coal removal is the new fast-food industry of environmental docs.
This trailer is NSFW because it ends with former Bogotá Mayor Antanas Mockus mooning a crowd. Why can't our mayors be more like that? I'd take nudity over patronage any day.
A documentary about Samuel Mockbee, the late architect whose Rural Studio enlisted Auburn University students to create progressive architecture for impoverished communities in rural Alabama.
A documentary about community gardening in D.C. Says one woman, "I now hate golf courses and lawns." I think her garden would make for a perfect bocce court.
This film isn't nearly as good as Lucy Walker's other 2010 documentary, Waste Land, but if you feel like getting freaked out about nuclear weapons, be my guest.
Kind of like March of the Penguins, but with flamingos in northern Tanzania.
It's water vs. gold in this Peruvian showdown. Can water pull off the upset?
I'd watch pretty much anything shot in Mongolia.
The new border fence between San Diego and Tijuana isn't just politically controversial, but environmentally, too, as it has destroyed the last unobstructed estuarine wetland on the California coast.
A long, immersive doc about a Chinese village that's being left behind. This might be the most promising film on the festival slate.
Though this teaser doesn't indicate as much, this documentary about the northern Russian people is narrated by Werner Herzog, so I don't think I need to say anything more.
The problem: our dependence on oil. I hope this doc tells us something we don't already know.
Alas, another narrative feature. This one comes from Russia, and appears to be a cabin-fever thriller.
These guys spent two months trying to reach the North Pole. The least you can do is watch the 86 minutes of footage that resulted.
The evils of planned obsolescence.
Utterly lacking in humidity, Chile's Atacama Desert is the best place in the world to view the stars, and thus it's a Mecca for astronomers.
A drama, based on a true story, about an American ethnomusicologist living in the Central African Republic and a tribe threatened by the logging industry.
Remember what I said about mountaintop coal removal?
A quasi documentary about German artist Anselm Kiefer, who likes to get his hands dirty.
A bunch of Greenpeace vets are living on a small New Zealand island now. Pathetic.
Matt Saracen trades in his football for a fishing rod, still seems lost.
A documentary about a nomadic Tibetan couple and the impact of modernization on their pastoral traditions. It actually looks more interesting than I'm making it sound.
This Thai film won the Jury prize at Cannes in 2004...
...and this Thai film won the Palm d'Or at Cannes in 2010.
WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING TO THE BEES?
Get it? Like the Kon-Tiki, but plastic.
Baby white lions will crush you with their cuteness.
In this Colombian drama, a man travels along the coast to return a Devil-cursed accordion to its rightful owner. Beware the parable.
Wind energy is a great thing, right? Not if those turbines are chopping at your sanity!