Trailer: “If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front”

One of the most underrated documentaries of the year so far, “If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front” debuted at Sundance to little notice save for a much-deserved editing award. I wish I’d written a full review, but I watched the doc before the festival and never found the time.  I haven’t stopped thinking about my experience with it, though. I went in thinking one thing about domestic terrorism and held onto that thinking almost up to the end of the film, after which I was left uncertain. Earth Liberation Front member Daniel McGowan is one of the most complex characters I’ve seen in film this year. I can’t stand him, but I can’t dismiss him either.

Directed by Marshall Curry, it’s not as brilliant as his Oscar-nominated “Streetfight,” but in spite of its comparative conventionality it really resonates and provokes a discussion — with yourself if not with fellow moviegoers. I like it a whole lot more than the other domestic terrorism doc, “Better This World,” which is getting more buzz, and I’m hopeful that it will end up doing well in theaters when it opens June 22 (then rolls-out through August). Tonight it plays its first Seattle Film Festival screening, by the way, and it’s also at fests in Telluride, Little Rock, Sydney (Australia) and Sheffield (UK) over the next couple weeks. Oscilloscope Laboratories just unleashed a spectacular new trailer, filled with fire and intense music, and you should definitely check that out after the jump.


About Christopher Campbell
I am a blogger for Documentary Channel and, where I write the Doc Talk column. I prefer real stories to fake ones. I tweet here: @thefilmcynic

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