Documentary delves into environmentalism movement

Love Canal Protest

Meet award-winning director Mark Kitchell as he hosts a screening of his environmental documentary A Fierce Green Fire: The Battle for a Living Planet at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 20, at Mercyhurst University’s Walker Recital Hall. 

The screening is free and open to the public. The film offers a deeper view of environmentalism as civilizational change, bringing our industrial society into sustainable balance with nature. 

Kitchell, who wrote and directed the film, will host a Q-and-A following the event, which was made possible by an Academic Enrichment Grant with support from the university’s sustainability office and the English department.

A Fierce Green Fire premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and explores 50 years of grassroots environmental activism through personal stories of fighting to save their homes, their lives, the future – and succeeding against all odds. Vivid archival film brings it all back and insightful interviews shed light on the events and what they mean.

The film, inspired by the book of the same name by Philip Shabecoff, is narrated by Robert Redford, Ashley Judd, Van Jones, Isabel Allende and Meryl Streep.

The film unfolds in five acts, each with a central story and character. Audiences will hear the stories of David Brower and the Sierra Club’s battle to halt dams in the Grand Canyon; Lois Gibbs and Love Canal residents’ struggle against 20,000 tons of toxic chemicals; Paul Watson and Greenpeace’s campaigns to save whales and baby harp seals; Chico Mendes and Brazilian rubbertappers’ fight to save the Amazon rainforest; and Bill McKibben and the 25-year effort to address climate change.

Surrounding these main stories are strands like environmental justice, going back to the land, and movements of the global south such as Chipko in India and Wangari Maathai in Kenya.

For more information, contact Marnie Sullivan, Ph.D., assistant professor of English, at or 814-824-3759.



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