Thursday, April 18, 2013

"Elemental": "water" film looks at the Ganges, tar sands, and the stratosphere "spiral"

On Thursday, April 18, 2013, FilmfestDC offered another environmental film as part of its “Green Screen” or “Earth Month” in the Columbia Room at Union Station, “Elemental”, by Gayatri Roshan and Emmanuel Vaughn-Lee. 
The film centers somewhat on water, with three parallel environmental stories, interleaved. In India, Rajendra Singh recruits the masses to help clean up the Ganges, often with dirty manual labor and wading in muck. Toward the end, the film shows us the source of the river in the Himalaya.
In northern Alberta, Eriel Deranger leads demonstrations against the tar sands project, which has disfigured an area the size of New Jersey, although the land is largely flat so there isn’t an issue with mountaintop removal.  The film gets into moral questions about using land of aboriginal or native peoples, but the oil companies claim that they have given then people “real jobs” and real money. Plenty of arrests and demonstrations are shown, including those in October 2011 in front of the White House, specifically against the XL Pipeline. 

In California, a nearly bankrupt Australian inventor, Jay Harman proposes a system based on a mathematical concept, based on a fractal and vortex, to shot reflective compounds into the stratosphere and reverse global warming.  The film doesn’t explain the concept particularly well. At the end. Harman retires into the woods in a cabin, in poverty.  
The link for the film is here.  The film also aired in Austin and Cleveland film festivals.  

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