REBELLION is the first feature-length documentary to tell the behind-the-scenes story of Extinction Rebellion, following a group of unlikely allies as they come together to confront the climate emergency. In the decade since the Financial Crisis, action on climate change had slipped right down the political agenda. In 2018 a new group emerged, Extinction Rebellion (XR), with a bold tactic to break through the deadlock: mass civil disobedience on a scale not seen for decades. Rebellion follows the journey of XR co-founders as well as Farhana Yamin, an international environmental lawyer who played a key role in negotiating the Paris Climate Agreement, as she decides to break the law for the first time in her life. For them, climate change is not just an environmental issue but is rooted in – and reinforces – social inequalities. REBELLION crucially tells a story about the health of our own democracy, as we witness moves to restrict the power of peaceful protest – including a government bill threatening 10 year jail sentences for those causing ‘serious annoyance or inconvenience.’ REBELLION poses uncomfortable and important questions about what it means to be an active citizen. First time filmmakers Maia Kenworthy and Elena Sanchez Bellot join us for a conversation about the civil rights issues as they related to protest, the urgency that so many feel regarding the climate crisis and the pressing need for proactive, not reactive actions. We also talk about the internal dynamics that come when a group of political activists begin to experience the spotlight of success.
About the filmmaker – Maia Kenworthy – Co-Director Maia is an independent documentary filmmaker from London. She has directed and produced films for charities and arts organisations, and taught creative workshops in schools and universities across the UK. With a background in history and art, she has always been interested in visual storytelling and the ways it can connect us to each other. In 2018 she met the co-founders of Extinction Rebellion and has spent the last four years immersed in the world of activism.
About the filmmaker – Elena Sánchez Bellot – Co-Director Elena is a Spanish filmmaker based in London. She is a self-shooting director and editor, keen on capturing the nuanced and complicated ways in which we are human. Her previous work includes films for public sector institutions such as the National Housing Federation and Arts Council England, as well as private clients like the NBA, MTV and NBC. She runs workshops for filmmakers and teaches on the Documentary Film MA at University College London. This is the first feature film she has directed.
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