Wednesday, September 29, 2004

CGF's first movie review: it's "Monumental"

"Monumental" is the title of a new documentary about the life of David Brower, the most important and maybe the most interesting environmentalist of the 20th Century. This documentary features archival footage of Brower's work and his experience as a leading mountaineer prior to World War II.

Brower built Sierra Club to prominence, got fired, built Friends of the Earth to prominence, got fired, and built Earth Island to prominence, which didn't get around to firing him. The documentary emphasizes his "no compromise" style, both its strengths and weaknesses. As a lawyer, I sometimes questioned the efficacy of refusing compromises, and I also wondered if he really was as purist as the film suggests. Compromising on outcomes is sometimes necessary, but overall, Brower's success in refusing to compromise on principles is a refreshing and important reminder.

This movie gets four stars out of five (I didn't like all the music, but no one should listen to my music opinions). As a small independent film, it will be difficult to see in theaters, but the video and DVD versions may be easier to find or rent.


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