Monday, March 19, 2007

DC Environmental Film Fest

Thursday marked the beginning of the DC Environmental Film Fest.

Saturday night I went to the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop to see the 1939 production of "Stanley and Livingstone" as in "Doctor Livingstone, I presume." It's the story of how newspaper reporter Henry Stanley went searching Africa for David Livingstone, long thought either dead or lost. Dr. Livingstone had settled in a village and was working as doctor, missionary, and explorer/cartographer. After spending some time there Stanley went back to tell his story and submit Livingstone's maps of the previously unexplored areas. At first nobody believed Stanley until Livingstone died and his last letter mentioned Stanley. I'm told that the end of the movie, where Stanley goes back to continue Livingstone's work, never happened.

Sunday I went to the National Museum of Natural History to see some of the best films from some film fest out west. Only the first three interested me.
"A Life Among Whales" was basically the biography of some marine biologist who is best known for his work with whales. It was also a history of whaling and the impact of whaling on the food chain.
"The Queen of Trees" is a documentary about the African fig tree and all of the life that depends on that tree. It focuses primarily on an itty bitty wasp that fertilizes the tree but it also talks about the parasites that feed on the wasps, the birds that live in the tree, the monkeys and deer that feed on the fruit, the insects that drink the syrup, the bees that feed on what the other insect spill, the butterflys that drink the fermented fruit juice, the fish, the crocodiles, giraffes, elephants, etc. etc. etc.
Then there was "The Craftsman (Mujaan)" about people in Mongolia and one guy in particular who is building a house using only a saw, a drill, and an axe. It starts with him buying the axe in exchange for a sheep. He cuts down trees and builds a cart. He uses the cart to haul materials to where he builds the house. Then he breaks down the house, loads it on the cart, and takes it to the guy who commissioned it. It's cool, but I don't see how they can stay even remotely warm in that house.

Tonight I'm going to watch cartoons at the National Geographic.

Check out the listings to see what else is showing in the next week.

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