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PBS American Experience Earth Days DVD

3.9 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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(Apr 20, 2010)
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Editorial Reviews

PBS American experience earth days DVD. Earth days traces the origins of the modern environmental movement through the eyes of nine Americans who propelled the movement from its beginnings in the 1950s to its moment of triumph in 1970 with the original earth day and to its status as a major political force in America. Closed captioned. Run time: 120 minutes.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Denis Hayes
  • Directors: Robert Stone
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: April 20, 2010
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Domestic Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
  • International Shipping: This item can be shipped to over 75 destinations outside of the U.S. Learn More
  • ASIN: B00336M89Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,676 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Earth Days, by celebrated documentary filmmaker Robert Stone, begins with a powerful montage of United States presidents, beginning with John F. Kennedy, proclaiming the urgency of the mission to clean up our air and address our dependency on dwindling energy sources. Our future as a nation depended on it.

Of course, as we know, the urgency has not diminished (especially in the wake of the recent oil spill disaster) but the clarity of the vision has. This is signaled in the film as the final president in the series, George W. Bush, expressed nothing more than the need to reduce our dependency on foreign sources of oil. Even Ronald Reagan spoke with much greater force on the subject than that. In part, as this film shows, the clarity of the mission diminished as the clarity of our air increased. It was the success of early environmental pioneers like JFK's Secretary of the Interior, Stewart Udall and California Congressman Pete McCloskey, in the face of very obvious pollution in large American cities, that enabled subsequent politicians to diminish and ignore the challenges that face us in the coming days.

The film outlines the history of the modern environmental movement in America, through the eyes of several early activists who were inspired by writers such as Rachel Carson and Paul Ehrlich. The words of nine passionate and highly influential, still living, pioneers are supported by images of growth and change in America, as the effects of economic expansion and technological development on our ecosystem and way of life began to demonstrate that the American dream of increasing prosperity was unsustainable.
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Format: DVD
I remember when I was in grade school we would do a special project on Earth Day, or plant a tree, or something symbolic like that - but after that bell rang, I didn't have a clue what Earth Day was. And I was perfectly content to keep it that way. This held true until I received the preview from WGBH. My immediate thought upon looking at the cover was, "Earth Day...this will be fun", but I was so wrong. I learned SO much from this episode. In school we spent very little time learning about the 60's-80's - we would highlight some stuff about the presidents and then move on. This episode taught me more than my 4 years of high school did about this time period.

The very beginning and the very ending of a movie or tv show can really make it or break it - and this one definitely did it for me. The opening of the episode showed clips from every president since Kennedy making speeches about Earth Day. I found this so interesting because I hadn't seen or heard half of them make speeches before. I also thought that it was a great way to show that it is still an important enough event that it continues to be relevant over the course of 40+ years. As with any decent documentary there are experts. The experts for this episode were from a diverse background: from politicians, ecologist, authors, liberals, and conservatives - among others. It really put things into perspective to see people from across the spectrum really believing in the message of Earth Day. At the end there was a "where are they now?" segment about the experts. Throughout the movie you got to see and hear about things that they had done for the movement "back in the day", but this last segment really brought it around to show you what they are still doing for the cause.
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Format: DVD
Earth Days is a comprehensive history of the evolution of the environmental movement in America, told from the point of view of nine individuals who participated in the early stages and the inception of an annual Earth Day (1970). The documentary opens with compelling films, many taken from early TV commercials and news stories, illustrating how Americans became enamored with the automobile and with conspicuous consumption, the two forces that heavily contributed to the global environmental and energy crises. Former Interior Secretary Stewart Udall describes the uphill political struggle to convince presidents, congress, economists, and businessmen of the need to become more cognizant of the heavy toll taken by ordinary business beliefs and practices. Astronaut Rusty Schweickart describes the impact of the space program in building the understanding of humanity's dependence upon a very beautiful but very damaged planet. Others, including Earth Day organizer Denis Hayes and biologist Paul Erlich, tell the story of grass roots efforts to convince the public of the reality of the peril in which they are living. This is a program that is both discouraging and hopeful. The failure of the United States to act upon incontrovertible evidence is examined, and it seems that the forces that obstructed the movement in the 20th century are very much in play today. "Superabundance" and over consumption are no longer an option. Director Robert Stone and his crew, along with the pioneers who spearheaded and brought this movement into common awareness and concern, have produced a visually irresistible film layered with images from which it is difficult to look away and with messages that are difficult to ignore.
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PBS American Experience Earth Days DVD
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