When it comes to branding and messaging, films are powerful tools for shaping minds. As people, we use word of mouth marketing with friends and family when it comes to the things we like/dislike. Hollywood knows this and they need us to carry forth their message long after the lights come up and the curtain drops.
Sundance introduced us to some bizarre characters while giving us the opportunity to get an advanced peek into the green indoctrination films coming our way in 2017.
Rancher Farmer Fisherman is a documentary based on a book written by the Environmental Defense Fund. The EDF gives many in rural America hives. Folks in productive industries such as ranching, farming and fishing know that trying to working cooperatively with Green groups like The Nature Conservancy, Trout Unlimited, Environmental Defense Fund, etc is nearly impossible. Is is financially and emotionally costly. The film states that in the early 1900s over 80% of people did some form of farming and ranching while today ranchers make up only 1% of the population Their way of life is under attack by the Green agendas like “conservation easements,” wolves, water, global warming, etc. Tom Brokaw, the narrator, suggests that because land is so valuable, many ranchers are selling it off to make a lot of money. This is just not true, Tom since ranchers love their thrifty lifestyle and do everything they can to keep that land. When burdened with the expensive fees and regulations that come with radical environmentalism some unfortunate families have no choice but to sell. We should value those who work the land and keep alive the spirit of rugged individualism that tamed a continent and built a nation.
Trophy is a documentary about hunters. It focuses on the millions of dollars spent to shoot “the big five” in Africa, saving species, poaching and feeding Africa’s poor. With no Hollywood-surprise, the filmmakers featured some particularly unattractive, sociopathic characters to portray the American hunter. It did, however, manage to show different sides to the hunting issue. During the post movie Q and A session the filmmakers revealed they went into this film with a strong bias against hunters and while filming learned hunting actually helps the poor, local communities in Africa — food, finances, and safety from people and livestock being killed by wild animals.
Rise covers the Dakota pipeline controversy. President Trump signed an executive order to advance the pipleline just this week. At the Sundance Film Festival, we covered Rise members protesting outside the Chase Manhattan building. Chase Bank supports the North Dakota Pipeline. Rise is about opposition to the pipeline by Native Americans, whom the film variously refers to as Indigenous people, Red people, my people, my peoples, the people, American Indians and the original inhabitants of America. What rang loud and clear in this series of films was a dislike towards colonization, white American males, President Trump, Capitalism, fossil fuels, and Christians, particularly Catholics. The heroes are being Bernie Sanders for voting the 2016 NDAA and President Obama for stopping the pipeline’s permitting process on December 6th. You can bet there will be major protests ahead.
My final film was Look and See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry. I showed up pen and paper in hand, ready to document more Hollywood winter fashion and dis-information. Call it garb+age. The movie unfolds like a book featuring the poetic writings of the late Wendell Berry as he describes his fear of the disappearance of small family farms and ranches and rural landscapes as big machinery, modernization, big government, regulation and profiteering (I’ll add globalization and technocracy) chip away at rural America. I couldn’t help but to think of my own family. I teared up, stopped taking notes, and enjoyed the rest of the film. Well, I enjoyed the film, until the Q & A devolved into the usual session of Trump bashing by the audience.
This film was a pleasant surprise and well worth seeing. It’s take on the changing climate of business and its impact on small producers is provocative. You’ll like it even better as your screening is unlikely to include the Trump bashing post mortem.
Sundance organizers announced that they are excited to introduce more Green films at the 2018 festival. The Green Left has a powerful ally in Hollywood. They know that movies shape thoughts, feelings, and actions. The climate film industry is populated by people who preach global warming for a living. Their only solution is radically altering your lifestyle, killing fossil fuels and forcing us into renewables. People are getting rich off this. Sadly, for the rest of us, they are not accomplishing any meaningful good.