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New Documentary Investigates Dire Realities, Small Victories, ‘What Climate Can’t Change’

Academy-Award nominated filmmaker Josh Fox’s latest documentary opens with Fox dancing to The Beatles to celebrate a victory over the gas industry following the production of his startling previous release, Gasland. The new film, entitled How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change, is a journey across 12 countries on 6 continents that highlights the communities that are fighting back against fossil fuel extraction.

“What we’re looking at right now is that we are disastrously late in addressing climate change and that extreme measures need to be taken,” Fox told Grist. “Even that won’t stop the havoc, but we have to examine our own lives and the way Americans live.”

After discovering that climate change is beginning to affect his own backyard, Fox embarks on a journey to interview environmentalists and experts such as Bill McKibben and Michael E. Mann on the harsh realities of rising global temperatures: the stifling heat, relentless storms, and mass extinctions that could soon arrive. Fox admits that he was resigned to pure hopelessness before he suddenly shifts tactics and begins seeking out grassroots activists who have found local solutions to climate problems.

His globe-trotting investigation leads him to an oil spill in the Amazonian rainforest where he sends up a drone camera to illustrate deforestation; to impoverished communities in Ecuador and Zambia that are using solar power; to exploring the health effects of chronic smog in China; to Australia, where he joins Pacific Islanders in a canoe-flotilla protest against a coal tanker; and to New York, to interview those recovering from Hurricane Sandy.

“What does have an effect is mobilizing in the streets, disrupting the system in some way, through non-violent political action,” Fox told Grist. “If we had 5 percent of the U.S. population in the streets, you’d see real action.”

In contrast, a reviewer for Variety wrote that the documentary “consists of roughly one-third doom-and-gloom to two-thirds wide-eyed optimism,” noting that the film “takes heart in communities that have found small-scale solutions.”

To see for yourself, you can catch a screening on the Let Go and Love Tour, running through May and June in 100 cities in the U.S. and across the world.

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