A new documentary about wacky environmental activism screened at KU this week, with a Q&A with the film maker afterwards.

By Kim Heinz

KU film screening: Just do it

Just Do It is a documentary that follows the tactics and stunts performed by six British climate change activists on their mission to reduce carbon emissions.

The producer, who wanted to tell the story of this often misunderstood group in depth, placed herself in the protest group Plane Stupid and documented their misadventures throughout 2009.

The film covers the planning and execution of stunts including storming a power station and the headquarters of a corporate bank, supergluing themselves to each other and to entranceways, using bike locks to link themselves to stepladders wedged into revolving doors and living on the proposed third runway at Heathrow.

The passion

Their methods, codes and willingness to break the law in order to save the planet are rare and fascinating to look at and the passion of every team-member is overwhelming.

Getting their message across

Every character seems to be aware of the possible legal implications of their stunts. They do not take such worries lightly and try, in the process of getting their message across, to avoid capture and punishment where possible.

Emily James who has over 10 years experience in making documentaries employed an overall light, entertaining tone throughout the movie. It is enjoyable, easy to watch and a counterpoint to the violent reputation climate activists often suffer due to hostile media coverage.

Fun and informative

Although this is a strong and valuable documentary about an often stereotyped group of activists who make strong points and address important issues in our society, overall the film lacks persuasive power.

The activists say that climate change is bad and blame our capitalist society but neither bring up arguments to back up these claims or show alternatives in the form of actionable solutions to the problem. Nevertheless it is definitely worth a look as it is still fun and informative about the way this group operates.

Independent grassroots project

Just do it has been nominated for the Sheffield Green Award 2011 and was shown free of charge at 80 universities throughout the country, including Kingston University. It is a fully independent, grassroots project that has been made possible thanks to the generosity of over 100 volunteers and 447 crowd funders. It will soon be shown on Dutch television. 

Plane stupid is currently collecting funds to take the US by storm next year.  

See a list of local screening here

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