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A Fierce Green Fire: The Battle for a Living Planet (2012)A Fierce Green Fire: The Battle for a Living Planet (2012)

           This polemical documentary is a good place to start for an overview of the environmental movement. It's divided into five "Acts," each of which is narrated by a prominent spokesperson. Robert Redford starts with the "conservation" movement that focused on saving wild places like rivers, parks, and forests. Act 2 considers pollution and is narrated by Ashley Judd; it takes a long look at the Love Canal debacle. Van Jones narrates Act 3 about "alternatives," and focuses on Greenpeace. In the fourth Act about "Going Global," Isabel Allende covers the rubber tappers in the Amazon and groups like the World Wildlife Fund. The last Act 5 is narrated by Meryl Streep and looks at climate change, "the mother of all environmental issues," and international treaties. If there's a unifying theme here, it's that ordinary citizens should take their own collective actions, because governments and corporations never will without significant pressure. The movie was inspired by the 1993 book of the same title by Philip Shabecoff, described by Wiki as "the definitive history and analysis of American environmentalism."

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