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Environmental Documentary Gets Oahu Premiere
A beautiful, enlightening, and inspirational documentary film about the environmental health of our fragile planet will be featured in a special screening on Thursday.
The "Breath of Life" captures a portrait of the Earth through globe-crossing cinematography and interviews with dozens of internationally acclaimed scientists, authors, and activists. Filming locations included Hawaii, and one of the film's featured voices is Maui-based Hawaiian cultural practitioner Wayne “Vene” Chun.
The movie's official debut was in April in the United Kingdom, and saw a sold out showing on Maui in May, but this week brings its Honolulu premiere. The screening is presented by the Blue Planet Foundation, in observation of National Energy Awareness Month.
When most people hear "environmental documentary," they probably think of "An Inconvenient Truth," a 2008 film that won an Academy Award. But that movie, a more richly produced adaptation of a lecture that Al Gore has given hundreds of times, has been labeled as "depressing" as often as it has been called "inspirational."
"Breath of Life," the work of documentary filmmaker Susan Kucera, takes a different tack.
Kucera, who says she's been working in film since the age of nine, was one of the first movie makers to seize upon the groundbreaking Red One digital cinema camera. In 2009, she made "Trading on Thin Air," which focused on the carbon credit market, and "For the Love of Tango" last year. And this latest film seems to capitalize on her experience exploring both environmental stewardship and multicultural color.
Notably, Kucera also worked with Maui Community TV CEO Jay April to create "Breath of Life."
The official film synopsis reads:
"Everyone is telling us how we are destroying our world. Breath of Life is a film that shows us why. This stunning documentary transcends the usual experts and captures the mind-bending insight of the world’s greatest evolutionary scientists, down to earth farmers and Hawaiian wisdom keepers. It will change forever the way you view the world and provide a roadmap to the future you can actually use."
"What results is neither a doomsday decree, nor a this-is-how-we’ll-stop-this instructional film," wrote Maui Times reviewer Barry Wurst II. "The intriguing 'solution' offered isn’t specifically environmentalist acts, charity donations or more recycling bins... instead, Kucera’s film is a plea against indifference."
"'Breath of Life' could have been grim and downbeat, but instead is thoroughly fascinating and offers a visual feast for the big screen," Wurst adds. "Cinematic mind food is rarely this tasty."
The screening will be followed by a half-hour question and answer session with Paul Roberts, the award winning author and journalist behind "The End of Oil" and "The End of Food." Roberts was one of the experts featured in the film, along with Richard Dawkins, Thomas Metzinger, Robert Trivers and Kari Norgaard.
The Honolulu premiere of "Breath of Life" will be held at Consolidated Theatres' Ward Stadium 16 (1044 Auahi St,) at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 28. The local event is cosponsored by RevoluSun, SolarCity, Hawaii Energy Connection, and Eurus Energy, and is also a fundraiser for Blue Planet Foundation. Tickets are $25 ($15 for students) and are available online. [UPDATE: The screening is now sold out, but you can use the registration form to join the waitlist.]