If A Tree Falls: A Story Of The Earth Liberation Front (2011) - Feature (Documentary)

  • 8 years ago
Documentary (2011) 85 minutes ~ Color

A rare behind-the-curtain look at the Earth Liberation Front, the radical environmental group that the FBI calls America's 'number one domestic terrorist threat.'

Directors: Marshall Curry, Sam Cullman

Writers: Marshall Curry, Matthew Hamachek

Stars: Daniel McGowan, Lisa McGowan, Tim Lewis

Awards and Festivals

Academy Award ® Nominee, Best Documentary Feature

Documentary Editing Award, Sundance Film Festival

National PBS Broadcast, "POV"

Best Documentary, Nashville Film Festival

Environmental Visions Award, Dallas Film Festival

EarthVision Environmental Jury Prize, Santa Cruz Film Festival

Founders Award, Best Documentary, Traverse City Film Festival

Best Feature, Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival

Best in Festival, Princeton Environmental Film Festival

One World Interntaional Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, Prague

Ecofalante Environmenta Film Festival, Sao Paulo, Brazil

"One of the best documentaries of the year." Critic's Choice.

- Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

"An extraordinary documentary...[a] fearless exploration of complexity in a world drawn to oversimplified depictions of events and problems, heroes and villains."
- Andrew Revkin, The New York Times

"A true life outlaw tale, as stirring as it is tragic, the story of the Earth Liberation Front offers a DeLillo-flavored draught of high-proof righteous excitement."
- Michael Atkinson, The Village Voice

"A compelling doc about radical environmentalism... informative, compelling."
- Justin Lowe, Hollywood Reporter

"It's a wildly successful and engaging documentary."
- Jon Reiss, NY Press

"This summer's most urgent documentary.... The vibe alternates between an early Clash concert and a dark, dark twist on Ocean's 11."
- Abe Streep, Outside Magazine

"The film sweeps us up like a thriller... a fantastic moral ambivalence."
- Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

"This is a sterling example of journalistic documentary, clearer, fairer and more engrossing than any of the sensationalistic newspaper or magazine stories about the ELF."
- Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com

Selected as one of John Waters' Top Ten Films of the Year
- John Waters, Art Forum

"An intriguing and important film... As director Marshall Curry said at his Sundance post-screening Q&A: "The film has a point of view, but a grown-up point of view that acknowledges the complexity of the situation."
- Stewart Nusbaumer, Filmmaker Magazine

"Compelling, adroitly edited portrait of the radical group." Critics' Pick
- New York Magazine

"A gripping doc about eco-terrorism."
-- Scott Feinberg, Hollywood Reporter

"Very thoughtful and articluate... pushing past the familiar activists-vs-the-corporate-state paradigm to hear from those whose sympathies lie on both sides."
-- Steven Boone, Chicago Sun Times

"A brilliant success, evoking a wide range of emotions and provoking viewers to challenge their own assumptions."
-- Tom Jacobs, Miller-McCune

"Power mix of violent confrontation between police and activists, ultimately propels the film into a call for action and change."
-- Thomas Logoreci, Dox Magazine

"The film's sobriety and carefully balanced arguments make it an exemplary piece."
- Stephen Holden, New York Times

"What this and Curry's other films say about their subjects... yields a remarkable clarity about the perils of modern idealism."
- S.T. Vanairsdale, Movieline

"A powerful and mesmerizing documentary."
- David Seideman, Audubon Magazine

"5-stars: [The] filmmakers raise questions and stir public debate about the definition of terrorism, especially in the post 9/11 security environment...very compelling. "
- Jennifer Merin, About.com Documentaries

"By turns elegiac, tender, funny and horrifying, it is a portrait of McGowan that doubles as a complex philosophical argument about the benefits and dangers of violent social protest. "
- Matt Zoller Seitz, Salon.com

"If a Tree Falls' is nothing if not troubling, complicated and thought-provoking... [the film] provided a common text from which everybody — radical or moderate, liberal or conservative — was able to work, interpret, converse. This common ground paired with the power of narrative establishes a strong ally for the environmental community and a bridge across divided ideologies and hopes."
- Dylan Walsh, Yale Daily News

"Engrossing... A classic story of radicalization."
- Nancy DeWolf Smith, Wall Street Journal

"Curry has crafted something complex and worthy of attention, a film that asks hard questions about environmentalism, activism, and the way we define terrorism."
- Pamela Biery, Orion Magazine

A "remarkable and moving film... The environmental documentary genre can be ripe for groupthink and complacency, and occasionally I find myself refreshed to see a doc that forces viewers to challenge their own preconceptions and opinions. If a Tree Falls, currently playing in theaters is one such film."
- Keith Goetzman, Utne Reader