Release Date: July 22nd, 2005 (NYC-Quad Cinema) by First Run Features
Directed by Kelly Duane.
BR> BASIC PREMISE: A documentary about David Brower, an environmentalist who aggressively tried to preserve nature’s wonders such as the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Park.
BR> ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: David Brower is definitely a courageous man who had a clear goal in mind and put a strong effort to stop the government from destroying nature. He was the leader of the Sierra Club, which had a strong impact on the government to set up the Wilderness Act of 1964. There are a few interviews with the individuals that he tried to persuade who discuss how much passion and fervor Brower had when he spoke. He led many expeditions to demonstrate the beauty and power of nature—and his love of it. However, the main problem with this documentary is that there is very little footage of David Brower himself even though this film is about him. The few scenes that he speaks does show his courage and eloquence but he never comes to life which makes it difficult to interpret his personality—an important part of any biography. Also, the images of nature itself never truly capture its beauty, which significantly weakens the impact of film. There are a few moments that briefly show Brower’s conflict with the powerful government, but there are no surprises. He was fired from the Sierra Club, but that is not explored enough to be engaging.
BR> SPIRITUAL VALUE: Brower’s courage is generally inspirational, but without enough footage of him it is difficult to be moved by his endeavors. It is uplifting that he wanted to preserve something pure and truly beautiful and that his voice has had an impact on environmentalism long after he was fired from leading the Sierra Club.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: The images of nature are not beautiful and there is not enough footage of Brower himself.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 5
THE BOTTOM LINE: A straightforward, unsurprising documentary about an important, influential leader of the environmentalist movement but it lacks an emotional impact and fails to engage the viewer.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: VHS/DVD
The "M" Menu