Environmental Issues and Film

Posted 30 October 2019

From a film that highlights the human impact of plastic waste dumps in China, to a locally produced documentary that examines the transformation of what was once Europe’s dirtiest river - the Don – this November at the Showroom Cinema we’re taking a deep dive into the defining issue of our time with a series of films about environmental issues and the climate crisis.

First up is the UK Green Film Festival. Taking place each year over a single week, up and down the country, the UKGFF screens some of the very best films from around the world that shine a light on the big environmental issues of the day.

The Showroom is participating again this year, with a one-off screening of The Green Lie on Sunday the 3rd of November, the latest documentary from filmmaker Werner Boote (Plastic Planet, Everything’s Under Control). With shades of Michael Moore and Morgan Spurlock, the doc takes an acerbic and humorous look at the practice of corporate greenwashing.

From environmentally friendly electric cars and sustainably produced food to fair production practices, the world’s big companies want us to believe that we can save the world just by buying the right stuff. But as Boote sets out to demonstrate in his film, this is a widespread and dangerous lie.

The filmmaker joins forces with Katharina Hartmann, an expert in corporate greenwashing, to uncover some of the world's worst offenders, from companies that claim to be producing “sustainable” palm oil, to the environmental damaged caused by the production of batteries for electric cars.

As well as highlighting the damage and deception involved with these ostensibly ‘green’ practices, Boote and Hartmann also explore how we can fight back, and they meet with experts including Noam Chomsky to discuss alternative possibilities for society that don’t rely on the ever-expanding exploitation of the world’s natural resources.

On the 14 November we’re screening a documentary about the River Don, South Yorkshire’s great industrial waterway, once the filthiest river in Europe, but now at the heart of one of Britain’s most remarkable environmental success stories. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Paul Adam.

Quiet Flows the Don

Finally, we’ve got two films that look at the climate crisis from a Chinese perspective. Plastic China focuses on an unschooled 11-year-old girl whose family works and lives in a typical plastic waste household-recycling workshop. Whilst Oh, The Sanxia studies the completion of China’s Three Gorges Dam, a project which led to long-term ecological impact, and widespread elimination of local economies and wildlife.


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