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5 Films to See at the DC Environmental Film Festival

The festival is screening 131 films about the planet until March 26.

A still from DC Environmental Film Festival documentary "Path of the Panther" Photo courtesy of DC Environmental Film Festival.

The DC Environmental Film Festival is screening documentaries about the planet and ecological issues until March 26. Tickets are currently on sale for in-person and free virtual showings of 131 films. Some screenings are already sold out, such as documentaries about Ivy City and trash pollution in Ward 8, but you can still learn about the films online. If you’re trying to figure out what to watch, here are five docs to add to your screening schedule.

Fashion Reimagined 
When: March 17 at 7pm
Where: National Museum of Natural History (Tenth St. & Constitution Ave., NW)
Details: After winning Vogue’s Best Young Designer of the Year in 2017, British designer Amy Powney used the cash prize to create something groundbreaking in the fashion world: a sustainable collection. This documentary follows Powney’s journey while also providing a look into the fashion industry’s impact on the environment. 

Racist Trees
When: Saturday, March 18 at 5:30pm
Where: Landmark’s E Street Cinema (555 11th St., NW)
Details: In the 1960s, a line of towering Tamarisk trees were planted between the white neighborhood of Palm Springs and the Black neighborhood of Lawrence Crossley. Decades later, the fight to remove the invasive trees—a symbol of racism—garnered national attention. Racist Trees showcases what happens when a community that sees itself as progressive is forced to confront the racism in its own neighborhood.

Secrets of the Elephants: Desert
When: Sunday, March 19 at 4pm
Where: Naval Heritage Center (701 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Details: Narrated by Natalie Portman, the most recent chapter in James Cameron’s Secrets of series follows the last 150 elephants in the Namib Desert as they endure the effects of climate change in an extreme environment. A conversation with Bob Poole, director of photography for the series, will follow the screening.

When: Friday, March 24 at 7pm
Where: Naval Heritage Center (701 Pennsylvania Ave., NW) 
Details: This film follows land defenders in the Philippines working to protect forests from illegal logging. The activists confront poachers—often armed with chainsaws— in the forests of Palawan, a popular tourist site. A conversation with director Karl Malakunas will follow the screening. 

Radioactive: The Women of Three Mile Island
When: Saturday, March 25 at 7pm
Where: Naval Heritage Center (701 Pennsylvania Ave., NW) 
Details: After the Three Mile Island meltdown in 1979, officials tried to cover up the worst commercial nuclear accident in American history. However, residents of the area, particularly women, refused to be silenced. Radioactive tells the story of the homemakers, lawyers, and journalists who worked to tell the truth about the physical and psychological consequences of the meltdown. 


Julia Rosenberg
Editorial Fellow