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How To Change the World

  • Fenimore Art Museum 5798 New York 80 Cooperstown, NY, 13326 United States (map)

Though there were plenty of disbelievers at the time, in September 1971 a small band of protesters set sail for Amchitka Island off Alaska’s coast to rally against the Atomic Energy Commission’s nuclear testing—and voilà, the launch of Greenpeace—ecological activism borrowing tactics from the peace and civil rights movements of the 1960s. That’s how it all began, as revealed in How to Change the World, director Jerry Rothwell’s measured and discerning documentary on the provocations, innovations, setbacks, and successes of the often criticized crew of idealists who set in motion environmentalism as social change. The film incorporates previously unseen 16mm footage from the 1970s, with selected and surprising moments from Greenpeace’s early days—these founders were interested in documenting their work and their play, and the footage provides a foray into their mindset. Original members who are still alive today are interviewed extensively, reflecting on then and now, as the film moves backward and forward in time. Rothwell’s inspiration was the memoir of visionary co-founder Bob Hunter, who died in 2005. Friends and family remember Hunter, and the fact that he had envisioned an ecology movement long before most people even heard the word. (Jerry Rothwell, 2015, 112 minutes)


$7 at the door