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Environmental Film Series at Unitarian Church Features Trio of Documentaries

The Alternative Press Staff

Thursday, April 3, 2014 • 8:14am

SUMMIT, NJ - The Unitarian Church will screen an environmental film series, featuring documentaries on drinking water, healthy soil, and responsible trash disposal on consecutive Tuesday nights beginning April 22.

The series opens with "Tapped" by Stephanie Soechtig and Jason Lindsey, a film which examines the billion-dollar bottled-water industry and its effect on health, pollution, and climate change.  The movie focuses on plastic water bottles, the chemicals used to manufacture them, and the widespread presence of discarded bottles across the world.

The 76-minute film gives a behind-the-scenes look at how the bottled-water industry managed to create a commodity out of something already available in every U.S. community.  “It’s ironic that we’re buying our own water, at 1,900 times the cost of tap water,” says director Soechtig.

April 29 features "Dirt! The Movie", narrated by actress Jamie Lee Curtis.  This 80-minute film takes a humorous, yet well-documented, look at the earth’s soil and the strategies developed for preserving this skin of the earth for future generations.

Directors Bill Benenson and Gen Rosow use a combination of animation, vignettes and personal accounts of farmers, physicists, wine critics, church leaders, children, and activists to tell their story.  The movie investigates where dirt comes from, how we regard (or disregard) it, how it sustains us, what led to its becoming endangered. and what we can do about it.

The final film of the series, "Trashed", will screen May 6,  with Academy Award-winning actor Jeremy Irons as investigator and guide.  Using conversations with scientists, politicians, and ordinary people around the world, the 97-minute film explores the global waste crisis and the environmental and human costs of mankind’s excessive generation of waste materials and irresponsible disposal of them.

"Trashed" ends on a message of hope, by showing how recycling and other sustainable, non-polluting approaches can help resolve the waste problem.

Admission to these showing is free, and the public is invited to attend.  Each film will begin at 7 p.m., and be followed by a question and answer session.  Zero-waste refreshments will be served.

Claudia Thornton, a member of the church and of the Millburn Township Green Team, says the films should inspire people who care about their food, their water and the air they breathe.  “The only remedy for the disconnection people feel from the natural world is connecting to it again.”

For more information on the film series, call the church office at 908 / 273-3245, Ext. 101, or visit www.ucsummit.org.  The Unitarian Church is located at 4 Waldron Avenue.

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