Rise of the Eco-Warriors
Every Individual Matters, Every Action Counts
Official film description...
A group of passionate and naïve young people leave their known worlds behind to spend 100 days in the jungles of Borneo. Their mission is to confront one of the great global challenges of our time, saving rainforests and giving hope to endangered orangutans. Their task is enormous and the odds are against them.
Jojo, an orphaned baby orangutan, is entrusted in their care and they must find a way to return her to her forest home. To do this, they need to build an orangutan rehabilitation centre and find ways to help the local communities protect their forest. Under the guidance of their mentor Dr Willie Smits, they introduce an innovative satellite monitoring system called Earthwatchers and enlist the help of school students around the world.
The system is put to the test when the bulldozers move in and threaten the future of a nearby community living in a traditional longhouse. This is a story about what it takes it be an eco-warrior, an individual willing to step up and take action to avert a global catastrophe taking place before our eyes.
The eco-warriors represent a new generation, ready to face what is happening on our planet and willing to do something, no matter how small, to build a more humane and balanced world. For them, every individual matters, every action counts.
Rating from our film jury...
Selected for the Films for the Earth Festival 2016.
“Rise of the Eco-Warriors” treats a highly relevant issue and inspires the viewers with many positive examples.
The journalistic and scientific aspects don't stand out: the aim of the film is presumably not to impart knowledge and information but to encourage young people to take action by showing young role models. It is probably difficult for adults to identify with the main characters and hence, to draw connections to their own lives.
The film is not very exciting, some scenes are still touching and evoke empathy and compassion. “Rise of the Eco-Warriors” offers relatively little in terms of film footage. The soundtrack is powerful and addresses in particular young audiences. The storyline is not always clear.
'Rise of the Eco-Warriors' is a rallying call for help to all those who value the life and diversity of our planet and seek to ensure its survival. An assembled collection of driven and conscientious young people from a variety of countries and backgrounds, are the chosen representatives of the Borneo rainforest and its inhabitants.
Cathy Henkel’s documentary places the viewer in the role of an ‘intelligent observer’. The viewer feels like they are zooming in through their laptop to witness the Eco-Warriors establish their roles and take on the huge task of facing off against the forces that are literally rotting our world.
Through this telescopic view, supplemented by widgets and graphics, we witness them fight against illegal gold mining, logging and the destructive force of the palm oil industry. This industry in particular pillages the Borneo rainforest and in its wake the habitats of the Orangutans and livelihoods of the human inhabitants.
This is a story of a diverse group of young men and women, led by the courageous Doctor Willie Smits, who face physical and emotional challenges to combat the monster of modern consumerism and bring their level of commitment and activism to the world at large. They are a small group, but they are our conscience.
Henkel’s ‘Rise of the Eco-Warriors’ is a must see for not only the environmentally conscious and the students of the world, but for those who have never thought larger than their own backyard. Cathy Henkel’s call is for the ‘Eco-Warriors to assemble!’
John Carozza HOD Signature Creative Industries QACI
Technical information and screening rights...
Director: Cathy Henkel
Production: Virgo Productions
Country: Australia, Indonesia
Runtime: 105 min
Language (Audio): English