The nominations for the 2012 Oscar Awards were recently announced and among the five films up for best documentary feature is “If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front.” The documentary follows the story of Daniel McGowan, a former environmental activist, who was arrested by Federal agents in 2005, as part of a nationwide sweep of radical environmentalists involved with the Earth Liberation Front — a group the FBI has called America’s “number one domestic terrorism threat.”
The film (made by Marshall Curry) traces McGowan’s journey from his identity as the mild-mannered son of an NYPD officer to a radical environmental activist in the Pacific Northwest, with a dramatic recounting of the events that led to his involvement with the group.
What makes the film particularly unique and compelling is its fair portrayal McGowan and it asks some hard questions about environmentalism, activism, and the way we define terrorism.
If a Tree Falls and can watched on Netflix.
It’s wonderful to see that films with such strong personal stories like this one also make it to the Oscars and can reach out to more people! Fingers crossed! People need to hear the other part of the story too. 2011 was generally a good year for environmental films, there are quite a few out there that look pretty interesting – my personal favourite besides this one is definitely Waste Land from the list.