Noah Bingham

Eco-Terroism, Environmental Activism, Human Lives - IF A TREE FALLS - Oscar Nominee

Posted by Noah Bingham on Monday, February 27, 2012.


Documentary feature nominee in this year's Oscars, IF A TREE FALLS directed by Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman, is an powerful look at the lines between domestic terrorism and environmental activism, and a human portrait of an individual caught between these ideas.

More from the filmmakers....

In December 2005, Daniel McGowan was arrested by Federal agents in a nationwide sweep of radical environmentalists involved with the Earth Liberation Front-- a group the FBI has called America's "number one domestic terrorism threat.

Part coming-of-age tale, part cops-and-robbers thrilller, the film interweaves a verite chronicle of Daniel on house arrest as he faces life in prison, with a dramatic recounting of the events that led to his involvement with the group. And along the way it asks hard questions about environmentalism, activism, and the way we define terrorism.

"Drawing from striking archival footage -- much of it never before seen -- and intimate interviews with ELF members, and with the prosecutor and detective who were chasing them, IF A TREE FALLS explores the tumultuous period from 1995 until early 2001 when environmentalists were clashing with timber companies and law enforcement, and the word "terrorism" had not yet been altered by 9/11.