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Our Favorite Things: What We’re Watching

We recently asked CEC’s Staff, Board, and Partnership Council about their role as thought leaders in the Santa Barbara community, asking what books, articles, films, apps, podcasts, and other multimedia are influencing their work.

Today we’re hearing from Brina, Andrew, Marjan, and Jacob.

CEC’s Online Marketing Coordinator, Brina Carey, recently watched Groundswell, by local filmmaker and surfer Chris Malloy.  The film features Santa Barbara surfers Trevor Gordon and Dan Malloy in conjunction with the Raincoast Conservation Alliance bringing to light the controversial oil pipeline threatening the Great Bear Rainforest.  Brina thinks it’s “our duty to protect the habitats and species of North America’s last remaining wild coastlines and learn from the damage of our past mistakes.”  She also thinks this film can remind viewers that “the impacts of our consumption are occurring close to home, not just on some far off continent” and it’s up to us to fully utilize alternative energy sources in order to minimize our dependence on oil.
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CEC’s Online Marketing Assistant, Marjan Riazi, attended the screening of Chasing Ice at UCSB’s Pollock Theatre a few weeks ago.  The film follows National Geographic photographer James Balog on his journey, “The Extreme Ice Survey,” to document the melting of ancient mountains of ice over a multi-year period.  Using time-lapse cameras, he compresses years of footage into mere seconds to show how global climate change is undeniably changing these fragile ecosystems.  “In a time when global climate change is still in question, he provides visual evidence to skeptics.”  For anyone interested in learning more about the unquestionable damage in the Arctic caused by the industrial world, this film is for you.

watching2Board Member Andrew Lemert enjoyed Alison Klayman’s award-winning documentary Ai WeiWei: Never Sorry.  This film follows the Chinese activist and artist Ai WeiWei who has been hounded by the Chinese government for no particular reason other than being an outspoken, anti-establishment artist.  “We take innovation and creativity for granted in the U.S.”  Andrew explains that “as Americans, we forget how much freedom we have in terms of expression and it’s really apparent from watching the movie how creativity is a threat to totalitarian regimes.”
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CEC Partnership Councilmember Jacob Tell suggests Paul Simon’s Under African Skies.  The film documents the world-renowned musician’s journey to South Africa 25 years ago, when he controversially inserted himself into the political climate of Apartheid in order to learn from and perform with other African artists and eventually record his famous “Graceland” album.  “It’s incredible to think about his perspective on world music” and how he has truly “preserved music culture and brought it to the west,” says Jacob.  Paul Simon returns to South Africa in this film to reexamine the role of a musician during political turmoil while reuniting with fellow performers from his past.  As a musician, Jacob appreciates the voyage this film takes the audience on and thinks that “anyone who appreciates music, travel, and cultural perspective” will love it.

Marjan Riazi

Marjan Riazi writes for CEC's Powered for Good blog. She graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in Environmental Studies and a minor in Educational Studies.
Marjan Riazi

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