Just Do It (2011), Emily James @CU – A critical reflection

Just Do It (2011) – Emily James

In the first semester I had the chance to be in a free screening of Just Do It
(2011) in Ellen Terry. Just Do It is the new documentary by Emily James.
The documentary which was released in 2011, gives a great opening, more
of a window of what is going on with environmental activists in the UK.
The documentary explores the lives of activists inside their groups, as well
as their ideologies, actions, social encounters between them even success
and failure.

Most of us know environmental activists just by their little exposure on the
media, which most of the times is not in favour. Emily gave us the chance
to “meet” these people. Many of them are young people, but not only. I will
not forget one of the elders that used to offer tea in every demonstration
they went. Even to the officers. As portrayed, these people seemed as they
had enormous amounts of energy and strength to accomplish their goals.
Something that is missing from society in every level.

Emily managed to live with these people for almost a year. She followed
groups such as Climate Camp and Plane Stupid in order to document not
only their lives but their clandestine activities. It is amazing to witness the
efforts of people like them. Even if their goals are succesful or not, even if
their means might not be acceptable by everyone in our society, they are
they only who do something about  the environment. I do not personally
believe that the environment can be saved just by squatting a power-house
or a ministry, but the level of awareness of these people is higher than the
average citizens of this society.

Their beliefs lead them to clash with the system and in a way society.
So under these circumstances you understand that the clash is not just
ideological but psysical. So many times they are getting arrested or beaten
by the police, that it’s starts to seem like an ordinary part of their lives.

Besides their efforts though in the UK and abroad, I really enjoyed that we
got to see parts of their lives together as communities, as one. The level of
self-organasation and self-management of every aspect of this ongoing fight
is astonishing. It is really a miniature of how societies could be in the future.
In my opinion, these people have socially evolved beyond the standard average
Western-like society. We can learn from them.

I really got dissapointed though with some of these people because, some of
them seemed to be blindfolded. In my opinion they had ignored some parts
of reality. They kept fighting goverments and try to avenge for every logged
tree, but failed to see who is really behind the overall environmental disaster
world-wide. Half of it, is not even a disaster. It’s just our planet that is in contant
change and makes our lives more uncomfortable. Inevitably one day we might
not be able to inhanbit certain areas of this planet.  The other half of this climate
change is, indeed the huge impact we cause in nature, as humans. We consume
faster than the earth produces and that is bigger problem that just a couple coal
burning factories.

I would definetely recommend this documentary as it succeds in it’s goal to
show us the modern-day outlaws. I found impressive the difference it makes
when the director is there to answer your questions and or give more insights
and bakstage information on the film.


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