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FLEFF Intern Voices

The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view

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Posted by Haley Stearns at 10:30PM
A Will for the Woods

Blog post by Haley Stearns, Still Photography ’15, FLEFF Blogger, Buffalo, New York

It’s two days after FLEFF and I cannot stop thinking about all of the moving films that I was able to see this past week. When signing on to be a blogger for this years festival, I had no way of knowing the powerful way that these films and festival guests would impact my interpretation of the world around me.

After spending countless hours sitting in the dark and cozy movie theatres of Cinemapolis, watching numerous films, listening to festival guests from around the world, and interacting with a gathering of different people, I can confidently say that I have immersed in FLEFF. So many guests, films, and speakers have resonated with me from this past week, but overall there are three films that I am positive I will never forget.

1. Arise 

Before FLEFF week I interviewed filmmaker Lori Joyce about this film. After reading the description and hearing her input, I knew that this would be one of the films that I absolutely had to see. For me, Arise put so many environmental issues and concepts into perfect perspective.

One of the main goals of FLEFF is to tie the global in with the local. The environment is currently a global concern. This film presents that concern on a global level by introducing female perspectives from around the world. By bringing this film to Ithaca, New York, and presenting it to the festival guests, Lori opened up a local dialogue about a global topic while inspiring and educating audience members.

2. A Will for the Woods

Prior to seeing this film, I had never heard of green burials. A Will for the Woods chronicles Clark Wang’s battle against lymphoma, and his quest to help establish the first green burial ground in North Carolina.

A Will for the Woods opened my eyes to how un-environmentally friendly traditional burials are, as well as cremation. This film wove an environmental message around one mans compellingly beautiful, heartwarming, and heart aching battle and journey through lymphoma.

Not only did this film move me by exposing me to Clark’s graceful yet sad journey through his final stages of life; but it also allowed me to think in larger terms of how we can still impact the Earth and the environment following our undeniable death.

3. The Hungry Heart

The Hungry Heart exposed me to the world of prescription drug addiction. Watching Vermont pediatrician Fred Holmes work one-on-one with various prescription drug addicts inspired hope and compassion in a dark situation.

Prescribing suboxone to patients struggling with prescription drug addiction can either aid an addict in their recovery process, or become a crutch. Either way, Dr. Holmes was determined to try what he could to help his patients.

I was incredibly moved and inspired by the work that Dr. Holmes enacted throughout the duration of the film. The testimonials of the addicts as well as some of their family members were both informative and powerful. This film shed an incredible amount of light on an often hidden problem.


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