Saturday, November 2, 2013

November Best Bet - "A Fierce Green Fire" - Salem Progressive Film Series, Nov. 14 7 p.m.

Thursday, November 14, 2013   7 p.m.   Grand Theatre

A FIERCE GREEN FIRE: The Battle for a Living Planet is the first big-picture exploration of the environmental movement – grassroots and global activism spanning fifty years from conservation to climate change. 

Directed and written by Mark Kitchell, Academy Award-nominated director of Berkeley in the Sixties, and narrated by Robert Redford, Ashley Judd, Van Jones, Isabel Allende and Meryl Streep, the film premiered at Sundance Film Festival 2012, has won acclaim at festivals around the world, and in 2013 begins theatrical release as well as educational distribution and use by environmental groups and grassroots activists.

Inspired by the book of the same name by Philip Shabecoff and informed by advisors like Edward O. Wilson, A FIERCE GREEN FIRE chronicles the largest movement of the 20th century and one of the keys to the 21st. It brings together all the major parts of environmentalism and connects them. It focuses on activism, people fighting to save their homes, their lives, the future – and succeeding against all odds.
The film unfolds in five acts, each with a central story and character:

  1. David Brower and the Sierra Club’s battle to halt dams in the Grand Canyon
  2. Lois Gibbs and Love Canal residents’ struggle against 20,000 tons of toxic chemicals
  3. Paul Watson and Greenpeace’s campaigns to save whales and baby harp seals
  4. Chico Mendes and Brazilian rubbertappers’ fight to save the Amazon rainforest
  5. Bill McKibben and the 25-year effort to address the impossible issue – climate change
Surrounding these main stories are strands like environmental justice, going back to the land, and movements of the global south such as Chipko in India and Wangari Maathai in Kenya. Vivid archival film brings it all back and insightful interviews shed light on the events and what they mean. The film offers a deeper view of environmentalism as civilizational change, bringing our industrial society into sustainable balance with nature.



Mark Kitchell | Producer, Writer, Director
Mark Kitchell is best known for Berkeley in the Sixties, which won the Sundance Audience Award in 1990, was nominated for an Academy Award, and won other top honors. It has become a well-loved classic, one of the defining documentaries about the protest movements of the 1960s. Kitchell went to NYU film school, where he made The Godfather Comes to Sixth St., a cinema verite look at his neighbors caught up in filming The Godfather II - for which he received another (student) Academy Award nomination.
Laura Stevens | Organizing Representative for the Sierra Club Beyond Coal campaign
Laura Stevens, Organizing Representative for the Sierra Club Beyond Coal campaign in Oregon and Southwest Washington, works with concerned citizens to stop coal export projects and towards a coal-free northwest. Laura, a native Oregonian, obtained her B.A. from DePauw University, and has spent the past six years organizing for a number of environmental, human rights, and labor groups. After Laura launched and led the Sierra Club Campuses Beyond Coal campaign at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, UNC made a commitment to move their on- campus coal-fired power plant off of mountain-top removal mined coal immediately, and set a date to move the plant off of coal entirely. For more information on how you can help stop coal exports in Oregon, contact Laura at or visit

Weird calendar, but many great offerings anyway

One of the saddest things in Salem is that we have shrinking, underfunded library services, with far too few hours, and no service at all on Mondays.  Which is reflected on the calendar below.

Still, the library does great things with the scant resources they're given, many of which show up on this calendar.  Just be sure not to overlook the bizarre, Monday-less calendar and go on the wrong day.

Of special note in the upcoming weeks:

Ursula K. Le Guin @ Hudson Hall on the Willamette U. campus  This is a special benefit put on by the Salem Public Library Foundation, bringing one of the best writers in America (and native Oregonian) to Salem.


7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Salem Public Library’s Loucks Hall

Lecture Series
Cascade Summer:  Following the Ghost of John Waldo on Oregon’s Pacific Crest Trail with Bob Welch

Learn about Oregonians helped lead efforts to preserve the natural wonder in Oregon, despite being much less wealthy than we are today.

FRIDAY, NOV 15 (weirdly mis-classified and hidden away as a children's event):

Family Festival of the ArtsCelloBop with Gideon Freudmann
7:00 pm
  - Loucks Auditorium

Gideon plays the Electric Cello and moves effortlessly from one style to another: folk, rock, classical, and funny songs. Everyone in the family will be asking for more! Doors will open at 6:45 p.m. and seating will be on a first-come, first-seated basis.  All shows are free and open to the public thanks to the support of the Friends of the Salem Public Library.