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Devour the Earth


Devour the Earth clearly illustrates the environmental consequences of human activity and the effects of the meat-based diet on our beautiful, precious planet. Scientific evidence now endorsed by the United Nations and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), clearly demonstrates the chilling fact that meat eating is the main contributor to global warming and has countless other adverse effects on the earth as well. Beautifully narrated by Paul McCartney, one of our animals' best spokespersons and famous vegetarian; he walks the talk.
Director(s): Tim Phillips
Writer(s): Tony Wardle
Cast: Paul McCartney, Narrator
Release Date: 1995   
Keyword: Meat Industry, Animals, Environment
Target Age: 10+   Category: animal issues
Documentary: yes
Language: English   Reviewer's Name: Lavinia
Purchase: na


115 min.
About the billions of tons of earth that humanity mines, excavates, and shifts about - all part of our relentless pursuit of planetary dominance. From fracking in Aberta's tar sands to the flattening of mountains in California for commercial development purposes, this film shows that we have left almost no stone unturned.
Director(s): Nikolaus Geyrhalter
Writer(s): Nikolaus Geyrhalter
Release Date: 2019   
Keyword: environment, pollution, mining, construction, landscapes
Target Age: All ages   Category: environment
Documentary: yes
Language: English, German, Hungarian, Spanish, Italian   Reviewer's Name: Ellie
Purchase: N/A


95 min.
The philosopher Tom Regan remarked, "For those who watch Earthlings, the world will never be the same." Indeed, the footage in this documentary is so disturbing that many of its viewers have consequently become vegetarian or vegan. However, these graphic scenes of animal suffering and death are merely business as usual for the animal industrial complex, a system that has decimated our planet and harms animals and humans alike on an unprecedented scale. Additionally, this film examines the for-profit use of animals in other industries - as pets, scientific research subjects, entertainment, etc.
Director(s): Shaun Monson
Writer(s): Shaun Monson
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix
Release Date: 2005   
Keyword: animal rights, environment, animal cruelty, animal industrial complex
Target Age: Adult   Category: animal issues
Documentary: yes
Language: English   Reviewer's Name: Ellie
Purchase: NA

If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front

85 min.
This documentary is about the Earth Liberation Front, a radical activist group devoted to environmental and animal rights-related causes. Their tactics included damaging facilities involved in animal testing and deforestation, which caused the US government to mark them as high-level terrorists. Some members were taken to trial and sentenced to jail. Although it's easy to decry the violent nature of the ELF's acts, the state's institutionalized violence towards both the environment and peaceful protesters should also be called into question.
Director(s): Marshall Curry, Sam Cullman
Writer(s): Marshall Curry, Matthew Hamachek
Cast: Daniel McGowan, Lisa McGowan, Tim Lewis, Kirk Engdall, Jim Flynn, Jenny Synan, Bill Barton, Leslie James Pickering
Release Date: 2011   
Keyword: animal rights, environment, America, activism, protest, earth liberation front
Target Age: Adult   Category: animal issues
Documentary: yes
Language: English   Reviewer's Name: Ellie
Purchase: NA

Salt of the Earth

Their employer refuses them safety helpers, so Chicano miners of the International Union of Mine, Mill, and Smelt Workers strike. When the mine owner cites the Taft-Hartley Act and gets an injunction, the miners' wives replace them at the picket. Told by Esperanza (Revueltas), wife of union foreman Ramon (Chacón), the movie is less well-known than the story of how it was made. Its creative team - director Biberman, co-writer Wilson, and producer Paul Jarrico - were blacklisted as communists. Continually harassed by government and studios, they had to complete "Salt" in secret. Revueltas, one of the cast's few professional actors, was deported, so shooting resumed in Mexico. The completed picture was banned in the U.S. until the 1970s, after one screening in one New York theater.

Revueltas, Geer (as the sheriff), Williams (as Hartwell), and Clinton and Virginia Jencks (as Frank and Ruth Barnes) were professional actors; the rest were union workers whose strike inspired the story. Events and the miners' lives and culture are shown faithfully. Given its production, the film is wonderful, emotionally-dynamic, and omits gratuitous romance, melodrama, and condescension. Revueltas is great, conveying shyness, strength, and heroism. Watching this 1954 movie, we see that although the decade was highly conventional and reactionary, it had depths and diversity of thought.

Another fascinating aspect of the movie is its depiction of gender issues. The miners refuse to demand home-heating or proper sanitation; those seem too unimportant until their wives fill the picket line, and the men must do the wash and care for children. Then they see how hard their wives' daily lives are. At first, the men oppose their wives' striking; Ramon even yells at Esperanza. Her feminist reply makes the viewer believe enlightened opinions of sizable minorities from that time did exist, but were hushed by the film industry and subsequent decades' history books.

Salt of the Earth repeats the old cry, "People united can't be defeated." A modest, engaging social drama, Salt is brilliant in contrast to the timidity that surrounded it. Such works can never be "ordinary."
Director(s): Herman J. Biberman
Writer(s): Herman J. Biberman and Michael Wilson
Cast: Rosaura Revueltas, Juan Chacón, Will Geer, Mervin Williams, Clinton and Virginia Jencks
Release Date: 1954   
Keyword: 1950 Zinc miners' strike; wives walking a picket line; New M
Target Age: 10+   Category: human rights
Documentary: no
Language: English with some un-subtitled Spanish   Reviewer's Name: Micah
Review: http://MRQE
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