Earth is a planet born of fire. For billions of years, volcanoes have helped forge the world we know. From the continents to the air we breathe and even life itself, all have been shaped by volcanic energy. These processes have created extraordinary ecosystems and wildlife habitats. With over 500 active volcanoes, the Earth is bursting at the seams with these forces of mass construction. The story of volcanoes is the story of the planet’s creation and the story of us.
With intrepid explorer, Carsten Peter, we dodge boulders at the edge of an active volcano in Indonesia, descend to a lava lake in Vanuatu, and visit incredible acid ponds, geysers, and mineral deposit fields in Ethiopia. Travel across the globe to see the archeological ghost town of Pompeii, hydrothermal vents at the bottom of the ocean, and witness the devastating effects of the 2018 Kilauea eruption in Hawaii.
The Coming War on China, from award winning journalist John Pilger, reveals what the news doesn’t – that the world’s greatest military power, the United States, and the world’s second economic power, China, both nuclear-armed, may well be on the road to war.
Nuclear war is not only imaginable, but planned. The greatest build-up of NATO military forces since the Second World War is under way on the western borders of Russia. On the other side of the world, the rise of China is viewed in Washington as a threat to American dominance.
To counter this, President Obama announced a ‘pivot to Asia’, which meant that almost two-thirds of all US naval forces would be transferred to Asia and the Pacific, their weapons aimed at China. A policy which has been taken up by his successor Donald Trump, who during his election campaign said “We can’t continue to allow China to rape our country and that’s what they’re doing”.
Filmed on five possible front-lines across Asia and the Pacific over two years, the story is told in chapters that connect a secret and ‘forgotten’ past to the rapacious actions of great power today and to a resistance, of which little is known in the West.
Groundswell Rising shows how Fracking – an untested energy extraction process – has contaminated drinking water and jeopardized health. We meet scientists, doctors and farmers across the political spectrum engaged in a David and Goliath struggle against Big Oil and Gas, decrying a process that puts profits over people.
Homeowners near wells suffer from respiratory ailments and property devaluation. A former industry employee shows skin lesions and edema, a result of working on drilling rigs, while others witness mistakes (5% of all wells leak) and explosions, against a back drop of rising ill health, as more and more suffer, from nose bleeds to asthma.
But there is cause for hope.
Local mothers groups unite to win some protections, while lease holders outraged by the corporations strong-arm tactics win local bans. Common Cause uncovers corruption as corporations buy influence to evade environmental protection laws, and the movement begins to gather momentum as actor Mark Ruffalo and singer Natalie Merchant support—and sometimes lead—their efforts.
Grassroots efforts have achieved bans, moratoriums, and referendums on Fracking, giving hope to others worldwide faced with the same nightmare. Transcending the genre of environmental film, Groundswell Rising’s passionate stories inspire and empower.
“Groundswell is ultimately a rousing, convincing rallying cry that the little guys, working in numbers, can triumph” LA Weekly
“But however you stand on the issue, you’re likely to be moved by the film’s portraits of grassroots activists managing to make their voices heard despite the opposition of major corporations and the big money at their disposal.” The Hollywood Reporter
This is the story of the unhealthy meeting of two cultures: an indigenous tribe, the Yanomami and the western anthropologists who came to the Amazon to study them. Over three decades the Yanomami Indians were transformed from the “last Stone Age tribe” so prized by those anthropologists to the most exhaustively documented and filmed tribe on earth.
Napoleon Chagnon built his reputation – and sold over a million books – by claiming to demonstrate the innate ferocity of Yanomami. He dubbed them The Fierce People. In 1968 his biggest expedition and most famous film were both lavishly funded by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. He targeted world-famous geneticist Dr James Neel, who literally wanted their blood – he was on the lookout for a ‘virgin soil’ population and was keen to know how diseases spread through such populations. Coincidentally or otherwise, a serious and deadly outbreak of measles happened during their expedition, killing hundreds in its wake.
Chagnon friend and fellow anthropologist Jacques Lizot, was a young prodigy and favoured student of the godfather of cultural anthropology and French intellectual icon, Claude Levi-Strauss. Like practically all other anthropologists in the field, they both distributed gifts, in order to ease their way into a tribe’s affections. “Chagnon is the golden goose for the Yanomami. He brings steel tools, machetes, fishhooks and they tell him what they think he wants to hear.” Lizot’s gifts included shotguns, but his favours were not confined to the academic and his illegal sexual predations amongst the Yanomami were kept sated over years, funded by the Collège de France and Académie Française over decades.
A leaked email from two top anthropologists notes: “This nightmarish story – a real anthropological Heart Of Darkness is beyond the imagining of even a Josef Conrad – though not, perhaps, a Josef Mengele.”