THE CLIMATE SPOTLIGHT
The 20th anniversary Planet in Focus will feature a spotlight of climate change focused films
and a special presentation in partnership with the CFC Media Lab.
6:30PM – TUESDAY, OCTOBER 15
THE HOTTEST AUGUST
Directed by Brett Story
The singular second feature from Toronto filmmaker Brett Story is an arresting mirror of our moment—a film about climate change in a clandestine guise. Shot in New York City throughout August 2017, Story’s slyly dystopic documentary at first exhibits no specific concern. Roving the city’s five boroughs with her camera in tow, she pauses to quiz passersby on their feelings about the future. Being New Yorkers, their responses are frank, funny, and reliably engaging: racism, rising rents, and Trump are just a few of the topics occupying their minds. Only rarely do Story’s subjects explicitly address the climate crisis. But, tellingly, they don’t have to. Their testimonies are a multi-voiced articulation of a shared sense of foreboding, as familiar to us in the audience as to those who appear screen.
6:00PM – WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16
Directed by Tom Burke
In the tight-knit, primarily Yup’ik village of Newtok, Alaska, there persists a strong connection to traditional livelihoods, rooted in the land the community’s ancestors have long occupied. But that land is quite literally disappearing before their eyes, thanks to climbing temperatures that have accelerated rates of coastal erosion to as much 50 feet per year. As Newtok faces the prospect of relocation, Losing Alaska presents a crisis mirrored in many Northern Indigenous communities. A history of haphazard planning by government has exacerbated housing issues and ongoing effects of colonization. Young people face the additional pressure of having to choose between leaving for better job and educational opportunities, or remaining to fight for the ways of life they hold dear. Despite the severity of their situation, the remoteness of such communities means resident’s voices are seldom heard, making Losing Alaska’s wake-up call all the more urgent.
4:00PM – SATURDAY, OCTOBER 19
COOKED: SURVIVAL BY ZIP CODE
Directed by Judith Helfand
As the Amazon burns and the US-China trade war continues to escalate, Soyalism is a sobering probe of a global industry with surprising links to both crises. Following each link in the worldwide chain of pork production, from the United States to Brazil, Mozambique, and, ultimately, China, this classic investigative documentary surveys the international consequences of Beijing’s growing demand: enormous soybean monocultures in the Brazilian rainforest; lagoons of hog waste threatening water supplies in North Carolina; Mozambican farmers coerced and displaced. A market once driven by local producers has been transformed by industrial conglomerates controlling feed production, livestock rearing, slaughterhouses, and distribution. Without a concerted effort to combat rapacious agribusiness and unsustainable consumer habits, Soyalism reveals that pork’s calamitous social and ecological by-products are only likely to escalate.
CFC x PLANET IN FOCUS presents
MOTHER OF THE FOREST
Created by Kylie Caraway
Mother of the Forest is an immersive, virtual reality experience that explores a sequoia tree’s ecosystem through embodied perspectives of various species. Through the use of 360 video, digital environment design, and interactivity, Mother of the Forest pairs scientific information gathered from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks experts with artistic creation to exhibit the hidden truth, beauty and precarity at play in this ecology. Through the illustration of symbiotic relationships, it asks users to contemplate their own role in intertwined ecologies impacted by human activity, resulting in biodiversity decline and climate change. In doing so, it depicts the complex webs of a sequoia forest that needs us, just as much as we need it.