Common Experience Project on Sustainability Film Series, Fall 2016 – OHIO University Libraries

Common Experience Project on Sustainability Film Series, Fall 2016


Alden Library supports research and learning in many ways.  We have been working with the Common Experience Project on Sustainability since 2012 to bring eclectic and diverse documentaries in the fields of environmental studies and sustainability issues.

Documentaries enhance the learning experience and provide an opportunity to explore the world of environmental and sustainability issues from grassroots movements, to corporate investigations.  All films will be available at Alden Library after their screening date.  If you are interested in seeing previous selections from the film series, check out our Sustainability Film Fest films. 

Please LIKE us on Facebook @SustainFilms

Panel discussions will follow each film: faculty, grads, filmmakers, producers, undergrads and community members will share their thoughts and research.  We want to encourage students to stay for the panels; your thoughts and questions are welcome and appreciated.

Remember, although these are documentaries, you still need to think about the content and the expression of the content.  Are they the truth? They are constructed by the filmmaker and many other players and forces—could there be bias, despite the evidence they present? Have they presented evidence at all? How did they chose to present the film, interviews, live footage, archival footage and animation?  Were the filmmakers heavily involved with their subject?  Why did they make the choices they made?


Oscar®-winning director Louie Psihoyos (The Cove) assembles a team of artists and activists on an undercover operation to expose the hidden world of endangered species and the race to protect them against mass extinction. Spanning the globe to infiltrate the world’s most dangerous black markets and using high-tech tactics to document the link between carbon emissions and species extinction.  RACING EXTINCTION reveals stunning, never-before seen images that truly change the way we see the world.


In Cambodia’s Prey Lang Forest, deforestation is devastating the lives of the indigenous population. Environmental activist, Chut Wutty, is determined to fight the illegal practices of logging companies but when investigating a secret military-controlled logging site, Wutty is shot dead. The film follows Wutty’s fierce battle against illegal logging in an extraordinary tale of one person’s courageous battle to save Cambodia’s forests.

This film tells the inspiring story of a sustainable agro-forestry community in Trinidad & Tobago West Indies, called Fondes Amandes, that is led by a charismatic Rastafarian woman, Akilah Jaramogi. Three decades ago, Akilah settled on a barren, deforested hillside blighted with floods in the rainy season and fires in the dry season. Together with her late husband, Tacuma, they started a family and reforested over 150 acres—restoring health to both the hills and the watershed outside the capital city of Port-of-Spain.

A FOREST RETURNS, created by local filmmaker, Jean Andrews, follows the environmental and social conditions that led to the establishment of the state of Ohio’s Wayne National Forest, and the region’s evolving relationship with the land and the forests as told by the late local conservationist, Ora Anderson.

CHESHIRE, OH: OCT. 5 @ 7 p.m.

This documentary examines the sellout of a community in the shadows of one of the largest coal-fire power plants in the nation, and just 30 minutes from Athens, OH. A gun toting 83-year-old woman refuses to sell her house to the power plant next door, but the plant has moved ahead their $20 million deal to buy out most of Cheshire and bulldoze all the homes. What happened in this Ohio River town overrun by one of the largest coal-fired power plants in the world? Director Eve Morgenstern will be present for the screening.

As a result of increasing pollution and health problems, residents of the 200-person village of Cheshire, Ohio offer to sell their town to the next-door power plant, owned and operated by American Electric Power. Ninety families in this small Southeastern Ohio River town will divide approximately $20 million and abandon their long-time homes, if they sign confidentiality agreements and waive their rights to sue the power company for any future health claims.

Alden Library provides a the DVD as well as streaming copy of this film for faculty, staff and students.  Community members are always welcome to visit Alden Library and use the technology.

THE LAST OCEAN:  OCT. 19 @ 7 p.m. 

The Ross Sea in Antarctica is the most pristine stretch of ocean on earth. The vast frozen landscape teams with life, whales, seals and penguins—carving out a place on the very edge of existence. Largely untouched by humans, Antarctica is one of the last places on earth where the delicate balance of nature prevails. But an international fishing fleet has recently found its way to the Ross Sea and is targeting Antarctic toothfish, which is sold as Chilean sea bass in up-scale restaurants around the world. The catch is so lucrative that  it is known as “white gold.”

OCT. 26 @ 7 p.m. 

Josh Fox (Gasland), who brings us his latest work after traveling to 12 countries and six continents, asks these questions: “What is it that climate change cannot destroy?” and “What is so deep within us that no calamity can take it away?”


This micro-documentary series explores trans-boundary conservation, environmental peace-building, and cross-border cooperation among stakeholders from their varied perspectives.A panel discussion with Todd Walters, founder and executive director of International Peace Park Expeditions, will follow the film screenings.

International Peace Park Expeditions mission believes that meeting the challenge of the Paris Accord, concerning climate change, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals is going to require a generation of conflict-sensitive, environmentally-sustainable, and culturally-aware professionals in all fields to address our shared interconnected global challenges.

TRUE COST: NOV. 16 @ 7 p.m. 

This is a story about the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact this industry is having on our world. The price of clothing has been decreasing for decades, while the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically. TRUE COST is a groundbreaking documentary film that pulls back the curtain on the untold story, and asks us to consider: who really pays the price for our clothing? Filmed in countries all over the world, from the brightest runways, to the darkest slums, this documentary features interviews with some of the world’s leading influences including: Stella McCartney, Livia Firth and Vandana Shiva, and many more.

For more information about Common Experience Project on Sustainability contact:  Loraine McCosker, environmental studies at