Screening: How to Change the World + Q&A
This screening will be followed by a Q&A with executive producer Stewart Le Marechal.
How to Change the World chronicles the adventures of an eclectic group of young pioneers – Canadian hippie journalists, photographers, musicians, scientists, and American draft dodgers – who set out to stop Richard Nixon’s atomic bomb tests in Amchitka, Alaska, and end up creating the worldwide green movement.
Greenpeace was founded on tight knit, passionate friendships forged in Vancouver in the early 1970s. Together they pioneered a template for environmental activism which mixed daring iconic feats and engagement with worldwide media: placing small rubber inflatables between harpooners and whales; blocking ice-breaking sealing ships with their bodies; spraying the pelts of baby seals with dye to make them valueless in the fur market.
The group had a prescient understanding of the power of media, knowing that the advent of global mass communications meant that the image had become a more effective tool for change than the strike or the demonstration. But by the summer of 1977, Greenpeace Vancouver was suing Greenpeace San Francisco and the organisation had become a victim of its own anarchic roots, saddled with large debts and frequent in-fighting.
How To Change The World draws on interviews with the key players and hitherto unseen archive footage, which brings these extraordinary characters and their intense, sometimes eccentric and often dangerous world alive.
Directed by: Jerry Rothwell
Produced by: Al Morrow & Bous de Jong
Running time: 110′