The Film ' Elemental ' Essay

The Film ' Elemental ' Essay

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Documentaries and films can be utilized in many different ways in order to positively contribute to solving our most dire social and environmental issues facing humanity and our planet. The film “Elemental” is primarily a descriptive documentary that shadows the life of three individuals in three very different regions of the world that are connected by their passion to confront some the prevalent ecological threats pressing their homelands. Additionally, the documentary provides some instrumental insight by informing viewers of how to effectively take part in environmental activism through demonstrations, fund-raising, community organizing, campaigning, and political protests.
The film follows their lives and conveys the unique stories of Rajendra Singh, an Indian government official devastated by the industrial pollution of India’s rivers; Eriel Deranger, an environmental activist opposing the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline in Canada, and Jay Harman, an Australian inventor and entrepreneur trying to use natures designs to solve some of our most severe environmental problems. Elemental successfully employs first-person narratives and first-person interviews providing a direct link to that particular person’s point of view in a way that appears more genuine and relatable. Identifiable victims include the general public’s degrading health due to their reliance on the heavily contaminated Ganges River in India. Canadian indigenous communities and their children getting rare cancers and diseases possibly related to the tar sands projects tainting the river systems, among others. The viewer may relate to losing someone close to cancer or be appalled by witnessing the conditions of children in the slums that rely daily ...


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...ntal did a satisfactory job at using the descriptive documentary approach to tell the stories of the three distant and avid environmentalists. The movie was effective in establishing relevance, triggering emotional connections, increases awareness of issues, evoking morals, and empowering the viewers to take similar actions. The film could also be seen as having instrumental documentary qualities that could allow for this media to be used as an educative tool to learn about the adversities one might face pursing environmental solutions and provide insight on community organizing, social work, public debate, and fundraising. In conclusion, Elemental ultimately succeeds at its goals of capturing and entertaining the audience’s attention, descriptively depicting the characters’ stories, and creating strong connections between the viewers’ lives and the documentary.

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