Act 3 is about alternative ecology strands and the main story is Greenpeace’s campaign to save the whales. We begin with going back to the land, building ecological alternatives and exploring renewable energy. Greenpeace brings together the anti-war and ecology movements. Putting themselves in front of harpoons to stop whaling launches Greenpeace on the wildest ride of any environmental group. Soon they are fighting on every front all over the world. Paul Watson, thrown out of Greenpeace for tossing a sealer’s club in the water, is reborn as Sea Shepherd and takes on whalers. Everyone comes together to campaign for a moratorium on whaling – one of environmentalism’s greatest victories. This act ends with the growth of green issues in Europe.

Act 3 Interviewees

Rex Weyler

"We were asking the question, "Okay, the war in Vietnam's over. What are we gonna do next? And the answer to that question was, 'We're gonna start an ecology movement. And the first thing we're gonna do is we're gonna go save the whales.'"

Paul Watson

"As this whale lay rolling in agony on the surface of the ocean, I caught his eye -- and he looked straight at me... I said, here we are destroying this incredibly beautiful, intelligent, socially complex creature, for the purpose of making a weapon meant for the mass destruction of humanity. And that’s when I -- it came to me you know, like a flash -- we’re insane. We’re just totally insane. And from that moment on, I decided that I work for whales, I work for seals, I work for sea turtles and fish and seabirds. I don’t work for people."

Stephanie Mills

"There's a place where ecology and anarchism converge. More radical than that, it does not get. A phrase that bobbed up was 'future primitive': the idea that to live ecologically would be to live a version of tribal subsistence."

Paul Relis

"Bucky Fuller used the term “Spaceship Earth”. Now we had come to this epic point in history where mankind was going to literally have to assume controls and figure out how to guide this thing. Mankind could attain a high standard of living, with a fraction of the impacts on natural resources. And that was to me very creative. I thought, Wow."

Lee Swenson

"This was really around the idea of appropriate technology. What tools, what scale of things work for us? How do we have solar energy? How do we have community gardens? What makes for conviviality? What makes for friendship?"


Amory Lovins

"People didn’t actually want lumps of coal, or barrels of sticky black goo. They wanted services like hot showers and cold beer. So I started at the other end of the problem - the end-use end - asking: how much energy, of what kind, at what scale, from what source, will provide those services in the cheapest way? This came to be called the “end-use/least cost question.” And it really did reframe the energy problem."

Wolfgang Sachs

"People are still hung up about the whales. Yes, Greenpeace grew as an organization which puts their bodies in defense of something, risked something. But it's not the entire story. In fact, Greenpeace had to change. Movements last only a certain time. Then you stop moving! Meaning they will be effective for a longer period only if they succeed in consolidating what they were standing for."


Category: The Story


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“Oscar-nominated filmmaker Mark Kitchell (Berkeley in the Sixties) winningly spans the broad scope of environmental history in this comprehensive doc, connecting its origins with the variety of issues still challenging society today.”
Justin Lowe, The Hollywood Reporter

"The material is vast, and it’s an incredibly dynamic film. It’s shaping up to be the documentary of record on the environmental movement.
I think it’ll be hugely successful."

– Cara Mertes, Director, Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program