If global warming is a distant, abstract concept to you, Mohamed Nasheed has a pressing message: There is no Planet B. Deposed just a few weeks ago as president of the Republic of Maldives, a tiny country of 300,000 in the Indian Ocean, Nasheed did anything and everything to galvanize the world’s attention to the rising waters that will inevitably submerge his island nation. (And, down the road, Battery Park and the Outer Richmond, if you have a rooting interest in either U.S. coast.) Local filmmaker Jon Shenk’s savvy, scenic The Island President delivers tonight’s opening salvo of the second annual San Francisco Green Film Festival, ahead of the documentary’s national theatrical release. This is one unapologetically issue- and action-oriented festival, thanks to founder and Executive Director Rachel Caplan, and it crackles with a unique energy. Yes, you may feel compelled to reconsider your lifestyle after docs like Sushi: The Global Catch (March 3 at 1 p.m.) and Blood in the Mobile (which assesses the Congolese cost of mining a key mineral used in cell phones, March 4 at 3 p.m.), but the prevailing vibe at the Green Film Festival is inspiration. The number of relentless activists, and the quality of environmental films made in the past year alone, suggest there’s still hope for our species.
March 1-7, 2012