DTE film review: Ariana Chavez, Unity College student

Down To Earth Storytelling film review

Ariana Chavez, Unity College student

When so much of human civilization depends on the natural world to thrive, why is it that we are in a state of environmental chaos? It may be greed, the desire for those to take and to have far beyond their needs. It may be ignorance, the lack of knowledge about the balance of human and nature that causes people to mistreat and misuse the land. Or maybe it’s indifference; knowing that things are going wrong and that other people, other species, and the land are being mistreated or exhausted and just not caring enough to intervene. When the majority of a nation falls into one of these three categories, how could we not be destined for disaster?  For those of us informed, these questions are what keep us up at night.

Having spent the last half of a decade as an activist in my community, I find myself fearing these questions often- especially when I fight for something that doesn’t play out in the end. Loving and caring about something must always open the door for heartbreak, right?

This documentary Down To Earth acknowledges this reality, these fears, all the while reminding us that there is no failing when it comes to engaging in your community and standing up against injustice on this Earth. Through the stories of local activists, this short film rekindles the fire in all environmentalists. They express their frustrations when the development they’ve been fighting against day in and day out proceeds anyway, or the fear of being arrested for civil disobedience for the first time, and the joy that the climate justice community brings them.

Personally, I found this short film to be quite cathartic. I have gone to town meetings to express concerns about recreational use of wetlands and been practically ignored because of my age and lack of support. I have spoken publicly, protested, and raised funds for the ceasing of pipelines just to have oil flowing through them now. I have been called a “radical” and “eccentric” and “crazy” by not only bystanders, but also people that I love.

Through all of that, though, I have never wavered in my fight for climate justice. Just as Sylvia stated in the film, I have been brought to tears by the sense of community and power at peaceful protests and marches I’ve attended. I have met so many different people from so many different walks of life; people I would have never passed on the street and believed they had anything in common with me. It was wonderful to watch this film, for it was a good reminder that we’re fighting the good fight.

Regardless of the things that are going wrong, the weak policies, and the people who fight against nature; nature will always prevail. Continuing to educate and to inspire is the best way to save this planet, and this film expresses that very well.