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Earth First! The Politics of Radical Environmentalism| 59mins
Director: Christopher Manes | Producer: Christopher Manes
Focus Years: 1998 | Country: United States
Subject Tags: americas, ecology, environment, governance, leadership, transformation, united states
Quality Tags: Optimistic, Slow, Activating, Harmonizing
"Earth First! - The Politics of Radical Environmentalism" documents the rise of the controversial eco-activist group, Earth First!, as told by its founders, its admirers and its opponents. Earth First! burst onto the environmental scene in the 1980s, engaging not only in civil disobedience to protect America's wilderness from exploitation, but ecotage – the destruction of heavy equipment, roads, and mills involved in deforestation. The movement become heroic to some, infamous to others, by scaling and occupying 200-foot tall old-growth trees to frustrate the plans of timber companies; and for "tree-spiking," hammering iron spikes into standing trees as a threat to the machinery of any mill that dared to process it. In addition to its brash activism, Earth First! cultivated a new, more spiritual attitude toward nature than the mainstream environmental movement had experienced before. "Deep Ecology" or biocentrism, was its cause, arguing that the living environment as a whole had an inherent right to flourish regardless of its economic value to humans. Earth First! almost single-handedly introduced the idea of biodiversity as a value into America's mainstream environmental movement. The film includes exclusive footage of ecoteurs in action, and interviews with EF! founders Dave Foreman (later convicted of attempting to sabotage a nuclear power plant), Michael Roselle, and Howie Wolke, as well as Professor Bill Devall, co-author of "Deep Ecology", and one of its foremost intellectual advocates.
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Christopher Manes

United States


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