SF Green Film Festival 2012: “Urban Roots” and “Waking The Green Tiger” Reviews and Trailers

Urban Roots

Although I have never been particularly interested in Detroit, almost immediately after beginning Mark MacInnisUrban Roots, I was emotionally invested.  Soul music that reaches in permeates through this intellectually stimulating story of people who are now taking control of their own existence through sustainable agriculture.  No longer an industrial powerhouse in search of the American dream, I believe that Detroit has stumbled upon a dream much larger than they could have ever imagined possible.  The decline of Detroit has perhaps been a blessing in disguise.  From this “food desert” has, out of necessity, formed an idea so important it could change future agriculture as we know it.  Perhaps this documentary is the beginning.

Waking The Green Tiger

Inspired by Mao’s War Against Nature by Judith Shapiro, this documentary by Gary Marcuse is about the journey to save one of the last wild rivers in China.  After sifting through a history lesson or two, it becomes clear that this is not just the fight for a river, but a fight for civil rights.  The shift in thinking moves from Communism and Mao’s war on nature into villagers working together to defend the environment and standing up to China’s government and developers.

Although interesting, I was not captured by this story.  Momentary artistic glimpses showed what could have been interesting in this movie.  Unfortunately, no emotional connection occurred in this uplifting but placid tale.  Perhaps if you are in the mood for a history lesson on Mao and a river you should watch this film, but you will not find it a strong suggestion on my part.


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