Planet in Focus Environmental Film & Video Festival Rating: NNNN
If climate change ruined your summer vacation and the smog over downtown is making you cast a speculative eye toward last year's SARS mask, this might be just what you need. Planet In Focus offers a collection of environmental films that manage to be more inspiring than depressing. It's the festival's fifth year, and it features 81 environmentally sound movies over six days, including lots of youth- and/or kid-friendly events.
The festival kicks off Tuesday (September 28) with Judith Grey's celebration of Cuban ingenuity, Sin Embargo: Never The Less (7 pm, Royal Cinema). Without sugar-coating their privation, it documents the sophistication and resourcefulness with which ordinary Cubans have responded to drastically reduced circumstances.
Since the American embargo and the fall of the Soviet Union left their economy in ruins, people have survived by reusing and recycling almost everything, creating pedal-cars from bedposts, doorbells from telephones, and, in one case, an entire female identity from scraps of foam, shoe polish and plant fibre. A lively and surprising demonstration of some of the ways necessity spawns invention. (September 28-October 3, at the Royal Cinema, Innis College, Bissell Room and Al Green Theatre)