GREENPEACE: Making a Stand
premieres on Global Currents September 23 7 p.m. ET/PT
“When you come from that honest place in your heart of doing what you really love and believe in, then miracles happen.” Rex Weyler
GREENPEACE: Making a Stand, a documentary based on Rex Weyler’s recent book Greenpeace: The Inside Story (Raincoast 2004), will go to broadcast on Global Television on Saturday, September 23, 2006 at 7 p.m. ET/PT.
As a founding member of Greenpeace, Weyler is a key character through out the program, alongside the now-deceased Bob Hunter, whose combination of media savvy and sheer chutzpah inspired many of the early Greenpeace campaigns. With dramatic action footage, still photographs, lively interviews with unforgettable characters, evocative period and contemporary music, the documentary explores what inspires people to risk their lives for their beliefs – to sail a ship into a nuclear test zone, to get between a pod of whales and an explosive harpoon, or to block bulldozers mowing down a forest. This compelling documentary looks at the 35 year evolution of Greenpeace from the early days of the environmental movement in the 1970s, to the front lines of a potentially dangerous campaign in Argentina.
Thirty-five years after the Phyllis Cormack, Greenpeace’s first seafaring vessel, set sail for Amchitka to fight testing of the nuclear bomb, Producer/Director Leigh Badgley’s cameras follow Weyler to Argentina where he interacts with young Greenpeace recruits on a potentially dangerous campaign where they fight to save the Chaco forest – homeland of the indigenous Wichi people. Together with John Watterberg, an energetic young campaigner from New York, they witness vast tracts of virgin forest being cleared by bulldozers making way for massive industrial soya plantations. The film follows Weyler and Watterberg as they join the Greenpeace Jaguars – a daring squadron of Argentine activists who ride high-power dirt bikes into the forest to stop the bulldozers in their tracks. Despite its modern rhythm, the old drumming still echoes through the jungle as new wars are being fought on today’s environmental battle grounds. As a result of the attention that Greenpeace and the documentary crew brought to the Wichi people’s plight, on August 15, 2006, the Argentine president formally gave the title deed for the Pizarro Reserve to the Wichi Indians.
“I am so glad to have contributed in some small way to helping make the planet a better place. The power of the media, and our documentaries cannot be underestimated,” says Badgley. “I can only hope this film inspires people around the world to rekindle their own personal passions and stand up and take action” says Badgley. “People need to be reminded that even one person, acting from that honest, noble place inside, really can change the world.”
“Canadians will feel an extra surge of pride while watching GREENPEACE: Making a Stand. We created Greenpeace,” adds Executive Producer, Michael Chechik, who captured the early Greenpeace campaigns on film. “We changed the course of history. Let’s celebrate this and feel good about being Canadian and what we represent. By the end of this compelling hour of television, every viewer will wish they were on that first campaign!”
GREENPEACE: Making a Stand is produced and directed by Leigh Badgley (Slammin’ Iron, Leo Award for Best Documentary, 2006, Political/Social), co-produced by Bette Thompson (Running On a Dream: The Legacy of Terry Fox, Leo Award for Best Documentary, Science, 2006) and executive produced by Michael Chechik, President of Omni Film Productions Limited.