A New Documentary with Close Connections to Eugene

In the environmental realm, Eugene has always got something up its sleeve.

This week there has been the hype surrounding “If a Tree Falls”, a documentary about the long-standing clash between a specific environmental activists group called Earth Liberation Front (ELF) and federal law enforcement.

In December 2005 a group of ELF members was arrested under charges of domestic eco-terrorism for various arsons that had occurred throughout the western United States, particularly Washington and Oregon.

In the documentary “If a Tree Falls”, the story is told from the perspective of one of the arrested environmentalists and ELF members based out of Eugene. This angle captures the inner workings of the group and includes until now, never released footage of the various events.

While it is giving a voice to the activists, this documentary wasn’t viewed as an insult to the authorities nor their actions. Rather, it includes interviews from police involved in the investigation and does not slant the information. The officers were interviewed after viewing the film and agreed that their side of the story was justly told.

The film ultimately contemplates eco-terrorism and how such acts affect what these environmentalists were initially attempting to achieve. The ethical consequences are considered, as well as how governments are responding to such terroristic operations.

The film opened on Thursday for the first time on the west coast at the Bijou Cinemas. There were two showings, after which Marshall Curry, the Director, spoke with the audience through Skype.


About Stacey M. Hollis

Living at the edge of southern Costa Rica's rich Golfo Dulce working with non-profit Osa Birds: Research and Conservation. With a background in environmental journalism, avian field biology, bird guiding and ecotourism, my aim is to share my passion for birds and spread the word about the importance of wildlife conservation.
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