We’ve handed the blog over to our students today! Read some great film reviews from the SU Environmental Film Festival last Monday. Get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org if you or your team would like to contribute to the blog.
A Plastic Ocean:
To initiate the Student Union’s #ReusableRevolution campaign, on the 4th October the film ‘A Plastic Ocean’ was screened followed by a panel discussion. The event was free, and with over 180 people, it was very well attended. I found the film very eye-opening and it really made me question my lifestyle choices regarding my unsustainable use of plastic. Although the film created a sense of despair, it was reassuring to see how many other people cared strongly about tackling the issue of reducing plastic waste.
The panel contained a balanced mix of opinions, with 1 speaker openly admitting he disagreed with many aspects of the documentary. It was really interesting to hear an alternative viewpoint on how best to approach the problem, and highlighted the fact that documentaries can often give you a 1-sided opinion.
There was also the opportunity to buy reusable items such as lunchboxes and coffee cups, so audience members could begin to cut down on their single use plastic consumption immediately!
I’m so pleased the SU is launching this campaign to try to make the university a more sustainable place. If you’re a student and interested in getting involved, join the Reusable Revolutionaries Facebook Group for more information. There’s also an idea sharing event on Wednesday 25th October for the chance to have an input in the direction of the campaign.
- Calsie Tyler
The first film to be shown for the SU Environmental Film Festival was ‘Chasing Ice’, on the 9th October.
The informative documentary told the story of a team of photographers who attempted to visually capture the effects of climate change. I think it was a great way of getting people’s attention, as climate change is often seen as a scary intangible concept. However you can’t argue with the photos they produced of massive glacial retreat over the course of several years. Overall I would recommend the film to anyone interested in protecting the planet.
- Calsie Tyler
It is no secret that the truth about climate change is bleak, and this tone is reflected in 99% of the environmental documentaries out there; which will either leave you feeling terrified and overwhelmed, or simply downright depressed and completely helpless. The vibe of Demain however is considerably different, and, dare I say it, pretty refreshing. If you managed to catch this film on campus last week as part of the SU Environmental Film Festival, you will no doubt be more passionate and eager than ever to save our planet.
Directed by both Cyril Dion and Melanie Laurent of France, Demain documents the intercontinental journey of six film-makers who are united on their sole quest to find the best already-existing solutions to counteract global change. These resolutions are clustered into five bite-size sections- food production, energy, economy, democracy and education- and stem from everybody and everything between world-leading scientists and pioneering green companies, to allotment owners and small community-led revolutions. Not for any spoilers, but the film makes for a great watch (don’t be put off by the occasional sub-title)!
- Jacques Bouvier
Merchants of Doubt:
As some people may know, last week Sheffield Students Union held an environmental film festival at the Film Unit. This consisted of three screenings of environmental films on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evening. I was lucky enough to be able to go and watch the critically acclaimed ‘Merchants of Doubt’, a documentary based on a book written by Erik M. Conway and Naomi Oreskes. The book has been recommended highly by science professors, but why read when you can watch the film for a mere £3 at the Students Union, right? The film basically exposes the false science published by tobacco companies, climate change deniers and the like, and shows us what’s going on behind closed doors. Large companies will happily deny how harmful their products are to the environment and to our health if it means they will continue to make profits. Think ‘Cowspiracy’ but with a focus on bigger, more influential companies and you have the conspiracy that is being uncovered in this film. It was emotional, eye-opening, shocking, and at times hilariously ridiculous finding out what these companies can actually get away with. As the lights came on, we were all left wanting to start an environmental protest and discussed the ins and outs of the film the whole way home, which I think is a sign of an effective environmental film. As students at Sheffield University, we are extremely lucky that our university takes such an interest in climate change and environmental damage, and I really think each event such as the environmental film festival will inspire a few more people to make a difference. I can only hope that the event is even more successful next year!
- Emilia Adamson