Ecological films at the 33rd Durban International Film Festival 2012

The environment around us has never been so under threat by the impact of human exploitative activity on its own habitat. From climate change to the destruction of precious flora and fauna, the Eco Lens at Durban International Film Festival 2012 brings environmental issues under the microscope.

The Eco Lens comprises both factual documentary accounts and fictional stories dedicated to drawing our attention to some of the valuable cogs in the delicate machine that is this blue and green planet.

Consumption patterns, our eating habits and the impact of corporatized food production come under scrutiny in particular Bitter Seeds (winner of the Green Screen Prize at IDFA) looks at the issue of multinational GM corporations and their impact on the small farmers.  LoveMEATender is a brutal but illuminating and thorough look at the unsustainability of the meat industry, and Semisweet: Life in Chocolate delves into all the facets of the production of the world’s favourite confectionery, including its dark involvement in child slavery. Four Horsemen interlinks the faltering financial system, violence and conflict, poverty, and depletion of the earth’s natural resources. In the feature film . Now, Forager, love and a nostalgia for more traditional modes of food production are rendered in earthy tones.  Last Winter laments the loss of small scale farming as the agricultural world becomes increasingly industrialized.

The way we interact with some of our more majestic beasts are examined in the moving All the President’s Elephants, where a brave woman befriends and defends a royal herd of elephants in Zimbabwe, and the thrilling Dragon’s Feast 3D takes us underwater with crocodiles, in 3D. The South African feature, Snare, is a gritty exposé in fictional form of the networks behind the rhino poaching epidemic. Some more otherworldly beasts stride across our screens in the gorgeously vivid eco-fable Beasts of the Southern Wild. Set in Namibia, Taste of Rain  reminds us of the centrality of love and water in the lives of people, while the decline in the water quality of a precious lake in India evokes a sense of having been forsaken by our holy guardians in the quietly moving Valley of Saints.

Full Programme etc at


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