Oscar-nominated documentarian Josh Fox (Gasland) flies, canoes, kayaks, treks, and jeeps to 12 countries on six continents to meet with global climate change “warriors” who are committed to reversing the tide of global warming. Funny and tragic, inspiring and enlightening, the film examines the intricately woven forces that threaten the stability of the planet and the lives of its inhabitants.
Sierraclub.org’s L.A.- based critic and film historian, Ed Rampell, describes the film as a highly entertaining, imaginative, and often emotional road trip that reveals the terrifying effects fossil fuels are wreaking on Earth—from superstorm Sandy to Greenland’s melting ice sheet to urban China’s toxic levels of air pollution to oil spills in Ecuador.
The film is a tour de force, a tapestry of portraits featuring the pulmonary problems of millions of Chinese children, such as a little girl named FeiFei, caused by the country’s burning of 3.8 billion tons of coal each year. FeiFei’s mother is determined to oppose pollution, as is Chinese solar pioneer Huang Ming, who is among China’s burgeoning sun-powered movement.
Viewers also learn the story of Tim DeChristopher and the wild lands he tried to save from oil and gas development by bidding on them at a government auction—he was imprisoned for this act of civil disobedience, as seen in the 2012 documentary Bidder 70.
Fox reserves a special place of honor in the climate justice movement for indigenous peoples, extolling the virtues of the Sarayaku villagers in the Ecuadorian Amazon, who successfully resisted the oil industry. The filmmaker also goes to the frontlines of the climate justice struggle at Newcastle, Australia, where—in the documentary’s most thrilling sequence—a flotilla of handmade canoes piloted by the Pacific Climate Warriors seek to prevent 10 coal ships from leaving port. Islanders from 12 Pacific nations participate in this clash with the Australian Coast Guard, as outriggers are matched against jet skis.
Described by CriterionCast as “infuriatingly moving,” this film asks us to consider, “What is it that climate change can’t destroy?” What is so deep within us that no calamity can take it away?
Fox is best known as the Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning writer/director of Gasland Parts I and II. He is internationally recognized as a spokesperson and leader on the issue of fracking and extreme energy development and has toured to over 350 cities giving speeches, lectures and question and answer sessions with his environmental film work. As a national spokesman on the issues of the contamination resulting from fossil fuel extraction, Josh has appeared on the Daily Show, Real Time with Bill Maher, The Keith Olbermann show, PBS Now, CNN, Democracy, and CBS and NBC nightly news.