The Environmental Documentary: Cinema Activism in the 21st Century

The Environmental Documentary: Cinema Activism in the 21st Century

by John A. Duvall


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The Environmental Documentary provides the first extensive coverage of the most important environmental films of the decade, including their approach to their topics and their impacts on public opinion and political debate. While documentaries with themes of environmental activism date back at least to Pare Lorenz's films of the 1930's, no previous decade has produced the number and quality of films that engage environmental issues from an activist viewpoint. The convergence of high profile issues like climate change, fossil fuel depletion, animal abuse, and corporate malfeasance has combined with the miniaturization of high quality recording equipment and the expansion of documentary programming, to produce an unprecedented number of important and influential documentary productions.

The text examines the processes of production and distribution that have produced this explosion in documentaries. The films range from a high-profile Hollywood production with theatrical distribution like An Inconvenient Truth, to shorter independently produced films like The End of Suburbia that have reached a small audience of activists through video distribution, interviews with many of the filmmakers, and word of mouth.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781441176110
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date: 05/18/2017
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

John A. Duvall is Associate Professor of Communications and Media Studies at Dominican University of California, USA, specializing in Cinema Studies, Production and Writing. He produced the documentary Peak Oil and Transition in conjunction with his doctoral dissertation at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Dr. Duvall formerly edited sound effects in Hollywood and writes feature screenplays.

Table of Contents

1. Documenting the Environment What is a Documentary? What is the Environment?
2. Ecocritical Perspectives
3. A Brief History of the Environmental Documentary The Films
4. General Environmental History and Concerns
5. Climate Change
6. Peak Oil
7. Pollution and Waste
8. Food and Water
9. Animals and Extinction
10. Community and Direct Activism
11. Conclusion

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