FILM FEST Do environmental films succeed in creating an impact? REHNA ABDUL KARIM talks to a few viewers to find out what they have to say.
If asked how many Bollywood directors you know, you might list them for hours together. If I ask the same question about environmental filmmakers, would you know any? In this age of commercial cinema, how much impact do these films have? Loyola College’s School of Media Studies and Environmental Club, in association with the British Council and Prakriti Foundation, conducted a one-day film festival on environment on the theme —“Nature, Chennai and us”.
“Climate’s first orphans” was an eye-opener. The film shows how global warming causes rise in sea level and threatens the existence of local residents. More than 20,000 villagers have lost their homes to the merciless Bay of Bengal, which has eaten up many villages in just five years. As the debate on climate change heated up, we come to one thought. Are these films motivating us to do something? Lydia, a student, replied with a positivity that surprised me. “Definitely when you see, you believe. I’d rather see a video of this than listen to someone speak. I may not be able to do anything big, but I do my part by using the public transport”. Vijay S. Jodha’s “The weeping apple tree” showed how global warming crippled the production of the Shimla apples in Himachal Pradesh; while Geeta Singh’s “A green agony” showed how the Sunderbans is disappearing. Syed Fayaz’s “A Degree of Concern” looked at the implications of climate change on glaciers, and how artificial glaciers are improving the water supply of Ladakh.
Nanda Kumar, a member of Loyola College’s Environmental Club, is hopeful. “These films won’t change most people but some people will and that, for us, is a big change”. Naresh, a movie buff, explains that the reason environmental films have not reached people is because they don’t get enough coverage in the media. “I can’t remember the last time I saw an advertisement on TV about environment”. Over the years we have seen films that attempted to show people what was going to happen and what was already happening. “The Inconvenient truth” attempted to educate the public about the severity of the climate crisis. Even animators took a shot at it with “Avatar” and “Wall E” talking about the future world.The end of the world in 2012 is almost a joke now. At the rate at which we are going there are chances we may get there faster. Can you make a change?
- Tapped (2009): Effects on our health, climate change, pollution, and our reliance on oil.
- Food Inc. (2008): Brings out the truth behind the industrial production of meat, grains and vegetables.
- The 11th hour (2007): A holistic look at the deluge of environmental problems currently faced by us.
- Fast Food Nation (2006): Explores the political, environmental, economical, and social ethics pursuant to fast food meat production.
Rehna is a M.Sc Visual Communication student at Loyola College.
Popularity: 1% [?]