The eighth annual Environmental Film Festival begins today, Thursday, May 26, in time for spring and warm weather. Collaborating with the Vineyard Conservation Society, the festival at the M.V. Film Center runs through Sunday, May 29.
Two films, “Fire of Love” and “Pushed Up the Mountain,” start off the festival today. “Fire of Love” is a fascinating documentary about volcanoes and the way they affect the world. Katia and Maurice Krafft are a French couple whose fascination with volcanoes brought them together.
Playing on Thursday, May 26, this film illustrates these powerful events with spectacular images of how they affect cities and land. It describes the role volcanoes play in the environment and the observations of these two, sharing them with viewers. “Pushed Up the Mountain” describes the role rhododendrons play in understanding how plants affect the natural world. Also playing on May 26, the film examines how this plant, native to China, is endangered in the time of unprecedented deterioration of the natural world.
On Friday, May 27, comes the Australian documentary “River.” Using satellite cinematography as well as other approaches, it looks at the role rivers play in six continents, and articulates the wildness of rivers and their vulnerability.
In “The Ants and the Grasshopper,” Anita Chitaya takes the initiative to bring gender equality and end child hunger in her Malawi village. Also playing on Friday, May 27, this film follows Chitaya’s California visit, as well as to the White House, in an effort to make Americans aware of the destruction of the planet.
Saturday, May 28, brings “Last of the Right Whales.” In an examination of the crisis of 330 North Atlantic right whales, this documentary examines how they are destroyed by ships and fishing implements. Threatened with extinction, the right whales are migrating north in an effort to find food in a time of climate change.
Playing on Sunday, May 29, another documentary, “To Which We Belong,” describes how farmers and ranchers have abandoned practices that are both unprofitable and unsustainable. Instead they help improve the soil and the sea for our environment as well as their livelihood. According to Aldo Leopold, “We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us.”
The “One Ocean Film Tour” is a world-class series of ocean-loving films focused on adventure, the aquatic environment, and inspirational stories. The tour was created in 2020 with the vision to increase awareness about ocean protection and conservation by sharing films made by people who have dedicated their lives to the ocean. This documentary plays on May 29, with a goal to improve awareness of ocean protection and conservation through spectacular visuals.
The festival closes on Sunday, May 29, with “To the End.” This documentary follows the efforts of four women of color fighting for the Green New Deal in an attempt to bring a change in the U.S.’s climate politics.
The Vineyard Conservation Society is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the environment, character, and quality of life of Martha’s Vineyard through advocacy, education, and the protection of the Island’s land and waters. For more information, visit vineyardconservation.org. For tickets and information about the film festival, visit mvfilmsociety.com/nature-as-inspiration.