If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
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If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
Filmmaker Marshall Curry explores the inner workings of the Earth Liberation Front, a revolutionary movement devoted to crippling facilities involved in deforestation, while simultaneously offering a profile of Oregon ELF member Daniel McGowan, who was brought up on terrorism charges for his involvement with the radical group. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It's tempting to watch If a Tree Falls doc about a scraggly group of ecoterrorists with a chip of skepticism on your shoulder. Yet the film creates a fantastic moral ambivalence."
‑ Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
"The problem is that the heart of the movie is McGowan. He's just not a very compelling figure."
‑ Mark Feeney, Boston Globe
"As emotive and far-reaching as the issues involved are, this incisive feature is most potent when capturing Daniel McGowan's life and mind dismantling."
‑ Simon Foster, sbs.com.au
"An earnest and even-handed documentary about a naive and whiny mild-mannered thirtysomething ecology activist."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"McGowan's views on the environment have taken several turns, but none of them is illustrated in the film, in which he comes off as passive and a little whiny."
‑ Chris Hewitt (St. Paul), St. Paul Pioneer Press
"Curry tells a compelling tale about the differences of opinion over what constitutes desperate measures, and how readily we throw around a term like terrorism."
‑ Stephanie Merry, Washington Post
"The gripping documentary If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front offers an intimate look at the radical environmental group."
‑ Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times
"Now locked down as a terrorist in America's CMU system, ELF activist Daniel McGowan lit more than a few fires."
‑ Ron Wilkinson, Monsters and Critics
"Considerably more thought-provoking than expected."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"An intelligent look at civil disobedience and the official criminalization of enviros who take peaceful demonstrations one step further."
‑ Kelly Vance, East Bay Express
"Watching it may not change anyone's ideology, but it will force you to see the players as complex people with understandable motivations."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Unless you are a true believer in the tenets of deep ecology, the film may seem more like an apology for the group's dangerous activities."
‑ Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle
"The film is a fascinating look inside a little-known arm of the larger environmental movement."
‑ Robert Roten, Laramie Movie Scope
"Although kind to the plights of activists who face hard time for victimless crimes, this film is balanced -- conservatives could easily interpret it as validation of the group's persecution."
‑ Chris Faraone, Boston Phoenix
""If a Tree Falls" never loses sight of the human beings at the heart of the conflict -- no matter what side of the conflict they're on."
‑ Shawn Levy, Oregonian
More reviews for If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front on Rotten Tomatoes

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