It is now all the rage in the Age of Al Gore and Obama, but can you remember when everyone in America was not “Going Green”? Visually stunning, vastly entertaining and awe-inspiring, Earth Days looks back to the dawn and development of the modern environmental movement—from its post-war rustlings in the 1950s and the 1962 publication of Rachel Carson’s incendiary bestseller Silent Spring, to the first wildly successful 1970 Earth Day celebration and the subsequent firestorm of political action. Earth Days’ secret weapon is a one-two punch of personal testimony and rare archival media. The extraordinary stories of the era’s pioneers—among them Former Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall; biologist/Population Bomb author Paul Ehrlich; Whole Earth Catalog founder Stewart Brand; Apollo Nine astronaut Rusty Schweickart; and renewable energy pioneer Hunter Lovins—are beautifully illustrated with an incredible array of footage from candy-colored Eisenhower–era tableaux to classic tear-jerking 1970s anti-litterbug PSAs. Earth Days is both a poetic meditation on humanity’s complex relationship with nature and an engaging history of the revolutionary achievements—and missed opportunities of groundbreaking eco-activism.
ROBERT STONE: Producer, Director, Writer
MICHAEL GIACCHINO: Music
DON KLESZY: Editor
COLL ANDERSON: Sound Design
HOWARD SHACK: Principal Cinematography
MARK SAMELS: Executive Producer
Featuring: Stewart Brand, Paul Ehrlich, Stewart Udall, Denis Hayes, Hunter Lovins, Rusty Schweickart, Stephanie Mills, Pete McCloskey, Dennis Meadows
“Earth Days” is a quietly majestic survey of the hard-won successes and instructive failures of the American environmental movement. Avoiding the alarmist tone characteristic of many ecologically themed documentaries, Robert Stone’s latest opus is a moving, elegiac, deeply contemplative work that leaves the viewer not with a save-the-world checklist, but rather a spirit of hopeful reflection.
Robert Stone’s Earth Days [is] a rapturous and enlightening testament to what the environmental movement has meant in America, and to why it now means more than ever. In Earth Days, he interviews many of the founders of the environmental movement, a tremendously engaged group of men and women who take us back to a time before the desire to conserve the planet carried leftist associations. Stone salutes the landmark that was Silent Spring, Rachel Carson’s 1962 bestseller about the effects of chemical industry on nature, but his most galvanizing insight is the way that the first disseminated photograph of earth from outer space revolutionized people’s feelings about the planet’s smallness, majesty, and vulnerability. The movie documents how in the ’70s, “ecology” and anti-pollution activism blossomed into a mainstream Congressional issue, only to be demagogued in the Reagan era, reduced for the next three decades to a tree huggervs. – drill baby drill! debate. With the ascension of President Obama, that moment may finally have passed, and Earth Days couldn’t be more perfectly timed. It’s about truths that are no longer so inconvenient.
- ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
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