Director: Emily James
What would make you cross the line?
Just Do It is an innovative indie documentary that lifts the lid on climate activism and the daring troublemakers who have crossed the line to become modern day outlaws. Documented over a year, Emily James’ film follows these activists as they blockade factories, attack coal power stations and glue themselves to the trading floors of international banks despite the very real threat of arrest.
Exposing the politics, responsibilities, fears and resolutions that lead people in increasingly visible number to take direct action on climate change, Just Do It is an independent, partly crowd-funded project offering an inside view on ‘civilised disobedience’: the strategies and tactics of organised dissent against environmentally and socially destructive corporate practices; and the methods of supporting and growing public challenges to corporate power at local level.
The film offers a unique inside perspective as it follows activists through strategic interventions and disruptions, from planning to realisation, in which they wilfully risk being subjected to violence and arrest in order to raise consciousness about the impact of otherwise unchallenged cultural, industrial and political norms on individuals, communities and ecologies. It provides this in-depth exposé thanks to the willing participation of its subjects who opt to be recognisable in their choices to defy the law for the purpose of promoting their causes, and thanks to the willingness of Director, Emily James, to affiliate herself with their actions to gain insight into their previously untold story.
…when you see people attempting to fix the world using only their bare hands, D-locks, superglue and bunting, how do you not offer them a hand? If the state says that makes me a criminal, well, I say it’s not really up to the state to decide. I am certain history will vindicate these people. Resisting what you think is wrong, and empowering yourself to change it, is always the right thing to do.
Seriously topical but never so serious that it gets caught up in polemic, it’s a terrific story packed with characters and told with passion.
If eco-documentaries in the past have acquired a reputation for being unwatchable, here is a remedy.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKER
Emily James studied documentary directing at the National Film and Television School in the UK, her student films already winning international awards. After her first broadcast commission; The Luckiest Nut in the World (Channel 4, 2002), the Guardian asserted “Emily James is a genius… and will in time be revered as a television innovator.” Following the experimental Don’t Worry, (Channel 4, 2004) and What Would Jesus Drive?, (Channel 4, 2006), Emily moved into the world of feature documentary in 2009, serving as Executive Producer on The Age of Stupid. Just Do It – a tale of modern day outlaws is Emily’s feature directorial debut and screened in over 45 independent cinemas across the UK in Summer 2011, alongside a far-reaching community screenings programme. The film is available on DVD with Dogwoof, and is currently on release in the US.
AWARDS AND SCREENINGS
World premiere: Sheffield Doc/Fest 2011
Nominated for the Sheffield Green Award at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2011
Branchage International Film Festival 2011
Cinemambiente Environmental Film Festival 2012
Colorado Environmental Film Festival 2012
Crossroads Film Festival 2012
Docudays UA Human Rights Festival 2012
DokuFest Kosovo 2012
San Francisco Green Film Festival 2012
Wild and Scenic Film Festival 2012
Whaleback Film and Arts Festival 2012