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GGP brings international award-winning film to Pagosa

By Sally High
Special to The PREVIEW

Photo courtesy Sally High A displaced Chinese farmer describes her village’s experiences during the construction of the Three Gorges Dam in China. Guests at Pagosa’s Environmental Film Fest Caravan have two chances to see “Waking the the Green Tiger” on Saturday, July 27.

Photo courtesy Sally High
A displaced Chinese farmer describes her village’s experiences during the construction of the Three Gorges Dam in China. Guests at Pagosa’s Environmental Film Fest Caravan have two chances to see “Waking the the Green Tiger” on Saturday, July 27.

“Waking the Green Tiger: A Green Movement Rises in China” won Best of Fest last February at the Colorado Environmental Film Festival in Golden.

The feature-length documentary will be shown at Pagosa’s Liberty Theater, Saturday, July 27.

Seen through the eyes of activists, farmers and journalists, “Waking the Green Tiger” follows an extraordinary campaign to stop the biggest dam project ever built. The Three Gorges Dam is built across the Upper Yangtze River for purposes of flood control and electricity production. The construction displaced some 3 million rural Chinese citizens. The film features archival footage never seen outside of China and interviews with government insiders and various witnesses. The documentary also tells the history of Chairman Mao’s misguided efforts to conquer nature in the name of progress.

Directed by Canadian Gary Marcuse, the film was grabbed up by 20-plus film festivals around the world in 2012. The Cinema For Peace Fest in Berlin shortlisted “Waking the Green Tiger” for the International Green Film Award and it received the Grantham 2012 Award of Special Merit for Environmentalism.

Pagosa’s Colorado Environmental Film Festival Caravan will also highlight three documentaries about Colorado’s rivers.

“The Last One,” a short film, explains the dilemma of the Yampa, the last wild river in our state, still subject to severe flooding and many human uses.

“Remains of a River” traces the Colorado, the most endangered river in the United States, from its source to its end in the desert of Mexico.

“Watershed” explores a new “water ethic” for the American west and will likely inspire healthy discussion among Film Fest participants.

The three documentaries about Colorado’s rivers kick off the Film Fest Caravan on Friday, July 26.

Numerous short films will be interspersed among the feature-length films. The shorts include “A Grand Threat,” about uranium mining in the Grand Canyon, and “Irish Folk Furniture,” a delightful animation about repurposing old furniture.

Pagosa Springs’ nonprofit Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership is producing and will benefit from the Film Fest Caravan. The GGP is building a botanic park in the west end of Centennial Park’s Riverwalk. Plans for the multi-purposed park include beautification, environmental education and year-round food production.

Hikes, soaks, discussion groups and evening receptions will round out the two-day Film Fest Caravan for visitors to Pagosa Springs.

Visit www.pagosagreen.org for more information and to purchase two-day wristbands for the CEFF Caravan, July 26 and 27.

This story was posted on June 20, 2013.