Cathy Henkel (The Man Who Stole My Mother's Face, TFF '04) returns with another engaging and provocative film. Whereas her previous film was more of a personal crusade, The Burning Season is an inspirational and uplifting eye-opener that follows the incredible crusades of others.
Every year, poor farmers on the Indonesian islands set fire to areas of pristine rainforest to set up palm oil plantations. The smoke chokes up the air of neighboring countries, endangers forest wildlife, and emits vast tons of carbon (Indonesia is now the third largest carbon emitter behind the United States and China). Henkel bridges three stories affected by these fires. Dorjee Sun, an Australian entrepreneur, believes there's money to be made from saving rainforests in Indonesia and sets out to find investors for his carbon-trading plan. Meanwhile, a Danish expat cares for displaced orangutans. And on the other end, a small-scale farmer wrestles with the dilemma of contributing to climate change and needing to feed his family.
Realizing that the overarching situation is quite complex, Henkel uses animated sequences and narration by Hugh Jackman to creatively illustrate points. She has successfully made an environmental film that doesn't just point out the problems, but shows that change is possible.
Length: 90 minutes
Language: English, Indonesian
Primary Cast: Dorjee Sun, Lone Droscher-Nielsen, Achmadi
Director: Cathy Henkel
Producer: Cathy Henkel, Jeff Canin, Trish Lake
Director of Photography: Leonard Retel Helmich, Ismali Fahmi Lubis
Editor: Harriet Clutterbuck, Cathy Henkel, Jane St Vincent Welch
Sound: Handi IIfat, Jeff Canin
Composer: Nicolette Boaz
Cathy Henkel, director of Virgo Productions, has worked as a writer, producer, and director of documentaries since 1988. Her television documentary debut was Heroes of Our Time, the first inside look at Greenpeace during one of its dramatic "direct action" campaigns. Cathy's television credits include Walking Through a Minefield, Losing Layla, Spike Milligan: I Told You I Was Ill, and The Man Who Stole My Mother's Face, which was named best documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2004.
Monday, April 27, 7:00 pm
@SVA Theater (333 West 23rd Street), Theater 1
Director Cathy Henkel, film subject and CEO of Carbon Conservation Dorjee Sun, New York Times environmental correspondent Elisabeth Rosenthal, and others will participate in a discussion on carbon trading, rainforest preservation, wildlife protection, and other issues raised in this provocative film, Moderated by Ira Flatow (author and host of NPR’s Science Friday).