By Lynn Dirk, GLOB Content Editor
This 5th year of the Cinema Verde Film & Arts Festival brings it to a very special venue: The new Depot Station. What is not different is the variety of films portraying the state of the earth and the creatures who depend on it, including us, and how to make our culture and economy sustainable. From February 13 to 16, 30 films will be shown starting at 3 pm on Thursday and Friday and at 11 am on Saturday and Sunday.
They are all worth seeing, so plan to see as many as you can. A VIP ticket that covers admission to all of the films as well as events like the kick off reception is a great deal at $100 – That's $3.30 a film!
I will be doing a countdown to Cinema Verde each week in Gainesville's Lunch Out Blog and giving an overview of some of the films that will be shown each day. This is Week 3. Some of the "big films" this year each day of the festival will be:
Thursday: The Human Experiment, about chemicals in our environment. Executive producer and film narrator, Sean Penn, has teamed up with 2 Emmy-award winning journalists to make people more aware of the 80,000 chemicals available in the US, of which only 200 have been tested for safety and only 5 of which are regulated by the EPA.
Friday: Gasland II It's all about the fracking. The gas industry is pushing back hard at the filmmaker, Josh Fox, by trying to debunk this movie. Come and learn about the risks of fracking and how they are minimized by profiteers. The issue is highly pertinent now to Florida as state legislators discuss creating a law to make gas companies that want to frack in Florida disclose what chemicals they are putting in the water. In Florida? Fracking? To even think that fracking could happen here! I think they should be working on a law to ban it – especially as, thanks to the example of BP, we have seen how careful energy companies can be.
Saturday: Speciesism. The tagline for the film is "You'll never look at animals the same way again, especially humans." In the vein of the tragic-comic documentaries – think Michael Moore and Bill Maher, this film is highly acclaimed, even by carnivores. For one thing, it is watchable – there is no horrifying visuals, but rather very persuasive arguments. Part of what makes the documentary notable is that Mark Devries, the filmmaker, made it mostly while a college student—with no filmmaking training–completing it just after graduation, before starting law school. Click here to listen to a fascinating interview with Devries at the Talking Animals radio show website.
Sunday. Scott Camil Will Not Die. All about one of our own local heros. This is the story of a young man who eagerly went off to war and came back being a person who did not believe in war. I remember meeting him when I was a freshman, or sophomore, at UF in 1969 or 1970, which were very difficult times of political change, and activism in Gainesville. Scott talked to a friend and me about whether we supported the Viet Nam war. Now that I think about it, I have no doubt that he was very likely an inspiration to me and led me to have many arguments with my father about whether or not war would always be a fact of life for us. I didn't believe it then, and I don't believe it now. And thanks to people like Scott Camil, it just might happen – some day -- that war could be retired as an antique weapon of foreign policy.