But here I am again, offering two stories that include direct action in an attempt to save life... These stories struck me in a personal way as I wrote here.
In December 1997, Julia Hill climbed a thousand-year-old redwood tree vowing to not come down until it was saved from being clear-cut. She lived 180 feet off the ground for more than two years, galvanizing an already intense dispute over the fate of Northern California's old-growth forests. Wolens' film is a primer on forest issues and direct-action environmentalism, but most of all, it is about the spiritual journey of a determined, articulate woman nicknamed Butterfly who saved an ancient tree she called Luna.
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front explores two of America's most pressing issues — environmentalism and terrorism — by lifting the veil on a radical environmental group the FBI calls America's "number one domestic terrorism threat." Daniel McGowan, a former member of the Earth Liberation Front, faces life in prison for two multimillion-dollar arsons against Oregon timber companies. What turned this working-class kid from Queens into an eco-warrior? Marshall Curry (Oscar®-nominated Street Fight, POV 2005) provides a nuanced and provocative account that is part coming-of-age story, part cautionary tale and part cops-and-robbers thriller.