The Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival was held for the fifteenth time this past weekend, and I finally made it. I WILL NOT SPOIL the three films I’m recommending, so fear not, continue reading.
After catching a spectacular Friday night sunset on the beach, I kicked things off at the festival with a narrative film called The Day I Saw Your Heart. While I recommend this French film directed by Mona Achache, because it made me feel deeply for its characters, I still don’t understand how it was billed as a comedy when most of the audience was sniffing back tears. Also, those who know me, know that I’m not happy until I saturate my brain in the documentary film genre. And Rehoboth did not disappoint there; I managed to see two spectacularly stunning visual testaments to the reality of climate change, and they played them in perfect bookend fashion on Saturday.
The first documentary film, The Island President, takes place in The Maldives (the collective name for an island chain made up of about 2,000 islands) which are both gorgeous and fucked – both terms are an understatement actually. The president, Mohamed Nasheed rose to power long enough to provide his people with true Democracy and a powerful voice in Copenhagen during the 2009 Climate talks. He is also my newest hero. Add a soundtrack by Radiohead, and it is no wonder that this film received the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival this past year. [The films website is here: http://theislandpresident.com/]
Chasing Ice is an epic production that has won Sundance’s Excellence in Cinematography award, and wowed film festival audiences across the country. This doc follows National Geographic photographer James Balog, and his team, as they install 30 cameras near several glaciers in order to gather visual evidence of what is happening to the Earth. It may be easy for climate deniers to scoff at charts and numbers, but this film will leave anyone quaking in their boots. [watch a just released clip and the trailer here: http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/independent/chasingice/ or learn more about the film here http://www.chasingice.com/]
While the subject matter is tough, and I admit that, these two films introduce us to men who are risking their lives to tell us their truths and the least we can do it give them a couple of hours as they try to inspire us into action. We owe it to our children, and their children, and I assure you they will ask themselves how their ancestors ignored the ‘mega storms’ and the significantly shifting high water marks in low-lying areas that are clearly warning signs. What will be your answer?
PS Chasing Ice gaining press: http://www.laobserved.com/intell/2012/11/chasing_ice_with_photographer.php