SF filmmaker previews ‘green’ documentary

SUNDANCE, Utah, Jan. 29 (UPI) — A documentary film on the history of the environmental movement that debuted at the Sundance Film Festival is about “taking up the battle,” its director says.

“A Fierce Green Fire: The Battle for a Living Planet,” is meant to “give meaning to the movement,” director Mark Kitchell told the Los Angeles Times before the Utah festival closed Saturday.

The San Francisco-based documentarian who previously was nominated for an Oscar for his “Berkeley in the Sixties,” took on nothing less than the entire history of the environmental movement in his latest work.

“The main difference between my film and a lot of other environmental films is that instead of it being focused on the issues, ours is focused on the movement and activism,” Kitchell said Thursday afternoon. “I feel that telling stories of activists, taking up the battle and fighting, is the best way to explicate the issues. And that was my main handle on the environmental subject, doing the movement story.”

Kitchell said he began his ambitious project, which did not win a Sundance prize, in 2007 deciding on a five-part structure for the film beginning with the environmental movement’s beginnings in the 19th century ending with a look into the future.

“I’d say what environmentalism is coming to is civilizational transformation; that’s the big message. It’s not just climate change, it’s a much bigger vision,” Kitchell said.