Monday, November 17, 2008

New Indonesia doc: The Burning Season

Looks like an Australian documentary about Indonesian deforestation, The Burning Season, has been picking up some big awards. It recently won an Inside Film prize for best documentary, for its creator Cathy Henkel.

Labelled an "environmental thriller" for how it chronicles the competing concerns of palm oil plantations, the endangered orangutans of Kalimantan/Borneo, and entrepreneurs who are trying to sell carbon credits to Western polluters (and thus funding the forests in their natural state), The Burning Season took 18 months of shooting on four continents to complete.

The issue seems to be reaching a tipping point, as environmental organizations try to get the word out before the razing of forests gets too out of hand. After all, such clearing results in 20% of global carbon emissions. At such a rate - 300 football fields an hour, it's said - the "lungs of the world" are in serious jeopardy.

Maybe that's why Henkel has managed to recruit a new American fan to spread the gospel: None other than California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Can't hurt to have The Terminator on your side.

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