In the News

Film Review: Down to Earth Climate Justice Stories

Review by Mary Gilbert

HOW DO PEOPLE BECOME ACTIVISTS? Are they born that way? How does continuing revelation come into play?

Andy Burt, a Quaker from Maine, has made a sensitive, well-planned, and beautifully edited one-hour film, Down to Earth: Climate Justice Stories (http://www.downtoearthstories.org/), in which she interviews a dozen or so earthcare activists about how they became involved in activism and what it means to them.

We see that it takes a certain type of courage to take on the role of “activist,” but the ordinary people in this movie have done it in a variety of ways and over their lifetimes. Some speak of important experiences of nature in childhood; their wish to protect the natural world has always been part of who they are. Some became activists later in life once they perceived the complexity of the world in a more informed way. For some, connections with others drew them in. Some simply had a feeling that “I must do this.” Once across the threshold, they all found an enhanced inner sense of meaning in their lives. (Read more here.)

Down to Earth: Interview with Filmmaker Andy Burt

“I didn’t set out to make a film,” says Andy Burt, the creator and director of the new documentary film, Down to Earth: Climate Justice Stories (www.downtoearthstories.org).

“I set out to go collect stories. It was young friends who said ‘you should do a video.’ So that’s why you have this film.” Down to Earth is a visual collection of thirteen “stories with the power to change hearts and inspire bold action,” featuring locals in Andy’s home state of Maine who are finding ways to creatively resist climate change and build healthy communities.

“What is important to me about this film is that it is not something I created to entertain people. There are a lot of powerful documentaries that I have certainly been moved by and I have attended so many screenings. I feel that the stories are often not something that common people can touch. You know, Naomi Klein is telling this story–I could never be Naomi Klein. So I wanted to gather stories of people just like me, of folks who are neighbors, that could be shown as an outreach tool to the folks who aren’t part of the climate change choir, not necessarily those that are climate deniers, but those that are sitting on the fence that know there is a problem, but don’t quite know how to act and are asking what can I do? The stories are diverse–people of different ages, cultures, gender identity–and they could be any one of us.” (Read more here.)

Above content from BeFriending Creation which is the printed journal of Quaker Earthcare Witness.