Planet in Focus 2013

Planet in Focus 2013: Emptying the Skies Review

Emptying the Skies Based on a New Yorker essay by Jonathan Franzen, Emptying the Skies is a documentary about the poaching of migratory songbirds in the Middle East. The central figures of the film are a group of activists working to save these species of birds from potential extinction. The film fits in with other […]

Planet in Focus 2013: Gringo Trails Review

Gringo Trails The narrative of Gringo Trails may wander like the backpackers it features for interview subjects, but the structure works to the film’s benefit, providing a cross-section of approaches to sustainable tourism that spans multiple continents. Opening with the tale of Yossi, a backpacker who, in the mid-1980s, was miraculously found by locals after […]

Planet in Focus 2013: No Land, No Food, No Life Review

No Land, No Food, No Life Some documentaries guide, some illustrate, some shock, and others just tell you what’s going, and disappointingly No Land, No Food, No Life fits into that last category. Shot in Mali, Cambodia and Kampala, Uganda, the film depicts large corporations (both foreign and local) swooping  in and seizing land from […]

Planet in Focus 2013: A River Changes Course Review

A River Changes Course The minimalist documentary A River Changes Course quietly tackles globalization, deforestation, and over-fishing.  Director Kalyanee Mam discreetly films three separate families struggling to assimilate past and present in Cambodia today. They barely survive in villages located in a remote (but dead) jungle in Northern Cambodia, on the Tonie Sap River and […]

Planet in Focus 2013: Salmon Confidential Review

Salmon Confidential Salmon Confidential portrays the government cover-up of what is killing BC’s wild salmon like a dramatic thriller set against an ecological backdrop, but it’s not as exciting as that logline might suggest. When biologist Alexandra Morton discovers salmon in BC are testing positive for dangerous European viruses, it sets off a chain of […]

Planet in Focus 2013: Last Call Review

Last Call (Closing Night Film) While it has become a hot button issue to talk about how human progress and potential might be doing more harm than good, it took 40 years for the world to finally listen to a group of devoted MIT researchers who tried telling this to everyone back in the 1970s. […]

Planet in Focus 2013: Arctic Defenders Review

Arctic Defenders (Opening Night Film) Borne from director John Walker’s lifelong love and his youthful infatuation with “Eskimo” culture and artwork, this disarmingly poignant look at First Nations families relocated decades earlier with hopes of establishing Canadian sovereignty in the literal Great White North balances the personal and the political with great and subtle dexterity. […]