If A Tree Falls: A Story Of The Earth Liberation Front

If A Tree Falls: A Story Of The Earth Liberation Front

Marshall Curry



85 min.

Marshall Curry’s documentary tells a story of political action and environmental beliefs at loggerheads. His reconstruction of the recent history and unraveling of the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) is a fascinating exploration of a modern revolutionary movement and its efficacy. Fusing fervent concerns about ecological imbalance and capitalism run amok, ELF members and sleeper cells employed economic sabotage by destroying facilities involved in deforestation to remove the profit potential from companies wreaking environmental destruction. Focusing on Oregon-based activist Daniel McGowan, Curry relates the tale of a mild-mannered, middle-class citizen driven to extremes and brought to trial on charges of terrorism for his participation in ELF-related arson plots. Detailing activists’ past disillusionment with public protest—and the police brutality and inertia that often followed—the film poses difficult questions about the possibility of effecting change from either within or without the system and examines the changed stakes for revolutionaries today in a world fixated on branding all dissenters as terrorists.


Academy Award Nominee (Best Documentary Feature) 2012
Sundance, Documentary Editing Award, 2011
Nashville Film Festival, Best Documentary, 2011
Traverse City Film Festival, Founders Award Best Documentary, 2011
Princeton Environmental Film Festival, Best in Festival, 2011
Hot Docs 2011
Sheffield Film Festival 2011
Doc Leipzig 2011


Director: Marshall Curry

Cinematography: Sam Cullman

Editing: Marshall Curry

Producer: Marshall Curry, Marshall Curry Productions LLC


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Additional info
2014 10 22
(Mažoji salė), Vilnius
2014 10 29
Skalvija, Vilnius

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