The environment has been a topic of interest (and concern) since I was a child back in the 1960’s. From Woodsy the Owl’s campaign, “Give a Hoot, Don’t Pollute” to Smokey the Bear’s “Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires” there was some spark within me that pushed me to appreciate, learn, and care about nature. But now, in today’s global meltdown, literally, the environmental issues are staring us in the face.
Here's my conversation with Jill Tidman, executive director of The Redford Center and producer of "Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution," in which Jamie Redford (yes, Robert's son) travels the country meeting people who are part of the grassroots effort to fight climate change with renewable energy rather than fossil fuels.
It’s a homecoming of sorts for Jill Rosenblum Tidman, who is bringing her documentary “Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution” to the St. Louis International Film Festival at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3, at the Tivoli Theatre. (For a list of SLIFF films with special Jewish interest see Page 14.)
Tidman, who celebrated her bat mitzvah at Traditional Congregation and graduated from Ladue Horton Watkins High School in 1990, produced the film with Jamie Redford (Robert’s son). Tidman also serves as executive director of the Redford Center, based in Berkeley, Calif., which works to harness the impact of storytelling through film and new media to increase awareness about social and pressing environmental issues.
Georgetown’s location in oil-and-gas-centric Texas and Ross’s politics add to the strangeness of the tale. The mayor is a staunch Republican at a time when a Republican president – and his Environmental Protection Agency administrator – reject the scientific consensus on climate change and are trying to revive the declining coal industry.
Ross has appeared in a National Geographic documentary, a forthcoming film about clean energy for HBO directed by James Redford (son of Robert) and in this year’s follow-up to An Inconvenient Truth, which saw the advocate and former vice-president Al Gore visit Georgetown.
The Marin Post
HAPPENING is James Redford’s most personal film, and I mean that literally. The veteran filmmaker hosts and narrates his journeys across America, and includes his daughter and wife in the story. Redford is making a point. Renewable energy is happening—rapidly. He visits a variety of clean energy sources—from the very small to the enormous—speaking with their representatives, learning about the current state-of-the-art in providing renewable energy to the world. There are two over-arching forces of change at work: The need to reduce pollution and global warming, and the positive economic impacts of renewable energies.
Fairfax director James Redford returns with another conscience-raising environmental film, Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution. Redford tries to determine whether the movement toward clean energy will ultimately be squashed by corporations and utilities. “I embark on a colorful personal journey into the dawn of the clean energy era as it creates jobs, turns profits, and makes communities stronger and healthier,” he says. “Today, most Americans understand and accept the reality of climate change. But as disturbing evidence and imagery continues to mount, many of us feel increasingly uncertain about what we, as individuals, can do.”
It’s been difficult to ignore the signs of global warming these past few months – between Hurricane Harvey slamming into Texas and the devastation in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria, it seems like nowhere is safe. And while that’s true, there are still many positive steps being taken to counteract the changes in our climate.
James Redford’s most recent documentary, Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution, is one of them. This isn’t Redford’s first film, nor is it his first time screening at Mill Valley – he has attended the Mill Valley Film Festival with a film three times prior, most recently last year with California Typewriter, for which he was executive producer. But how does one transition from a film about typewriters to documentary exploring clean energy?