FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
In Earth Days, acclaimed director Robert Stone (Oswald’s Ghost, Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst) traces the origins of eco-activism and the green movement through the eyes of nine Americans who propelled the movement from its origins in the 1950’s to the original Earth Day in 1970 up to and including its current status as a major political force in America.
Drawing heavily on eyewitness testimony and a wealth of never-before-seen archival footage, Stone examines the revolutionary achievements – and missed opportunities – of a decade of groundbreaking activism. The result is both a poetic meditation on man’s complex relationship with nature and a probing analysis of responses to environmental crisis through the decades.
Earth Days’ interviewees represent a diverse cross section of American life and politics. Among them: former Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall, renewable energy pioneer Hunter Lovins, biologist Paul Ehrlich, former Republican congressman Pete McCloskey, Earth Day organizer Denis Hayes, and Apollo Nine astronaut Rusty Schweickart. Each reflects on their personal awakening to an environmental crisis, and the life-changing decisions that grew out of their response to that crisis.
Says Stone: “When I was in 7th grade I made my very first documentary as part of a school science project for Earth Day. It was a little Super-8 film called “Pollution”. In many ways I feel that everything I’ve done professionally from that day to this has led me to the making of this film.”
One of the critical moments in the film takes place in 1986, when under the Reagan Administration, President Jimmy Carter’s solar panels were removed from the White House roof – and have never been replaced. On Earth Day 2009, President Barack Obama noted: “As America and the world observe Earth Day, the call to save our planet has never been more urgent…Earth Day is not just an urgent call to action; it is a reminder that what is now a global effort began as a grassroots movement for change.”
“We lost thirty years,” renewable energy pioneer Hunter Lovins says in the film. “We lost 30 years because both sides ossified into their ideologies, and if we’ve learned anything, we’re in this together. We still have a lot of options—if we haven’t passed the tipping point.”
“Environmental problems emerge out of daily life, and the solutions are also rooted in daily life. We need six billion people to get up and have a different consciousness and do things differently,” says scientist Dennis Meadows. “Is that realistic? Probably not. But it’s at least the hope that I have, that’s what has been able to sustain 35 years of work on this effort, and its one I’ll keep for the next ten or 20 years, as long as I’m able to keep working.”
Earth Days opens August 14 in New York City, August 21 in Los Angeles, and in selected cities nationally in September.
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