words:: Ben Osborne photos::Brian Hockenstein
Every once in a while a movie comes along that deserves more than the simple “You should watch that” recommendation to a friend. It makes you want to get off the couch, change the way you live, or maybe just have a meaningful conversation with your roommates. The Radicals, presented by Beyond Boarding is certainly one of those movies.
The film, co-directed by Brian Hockenstein and Tamo Campos, follows environmental activists and outdoor enthusiasts Tamo Campos, Marie France-Roy, Meghann O’Brien, and Jasper Snow Rosen on their pursuit to raise awareness and fight a number of social and environmental issues facing communities throughout BC. The Radicals will draw anyone in with it’s beautiful cinematography, and keep them seated with it’s ability to illustrate certain issues in a way not many other films have achieved. The film’s ability to evoke emotions and reason with the viewer was not easily accomplished: Rosen, Campos, O’Brien and France-Roy, along with the hard work of Brian Hockenstein spent years creating the movie by connecting with communities throughout BC, intensively studying the issues surrounding these communities, and exploring the natural world to gain a closer connection to the land they, in the end, found themselves fighting for.
The film documents four communities throughout BC fighting separate problems: The Xwisten Nation, The Tahltan, The Musgamagw & Namgis, and The Haida. Each community faces a unique but very real threat to the natural world that is deeply important to their culture, such as fish farming polluting Canada’s waters and threatening the Salmon population, and a mine and possibly a tailings pond to be built on the land of the Tahltan Nation to name a few. While these threats to the beautiful ecosystem of British Columbia have been well-documented, The Radicals takes the communication to a new level by evoking visceral feelings through first-hand accounts from the people dealing with these problems, and effectively documenting these people not backing down from the threats to the land they deem sacred. The documentation of this process and their ability to communicate with a number of communities, and cohesively turn that into a 55 minute film leaves a resounding effect on the viewer and is a testament to their hard work and dedication.
Outside of Marie France-Roy, the snowboarding and surfing prowess of the riders may not be well documented, but do not let that drive you away: Beyond Boarding has some serious rippers on deck, it’s just that their passion for their respective sports has taken a back to seat to the environmental and natural world. While many other snowboard/environmentalism films have sold short the environmental side while showcasing more snowboarding to fill seats, and others have disappointed on the action end of things, the Radicals does what others could not. While the movie spends most of it’s time covering the important environmental issues, the snowboarding and surfing that is sprinkled in takes place on world-class terrain, by world-class riders. Pay attention to the footage and you’ll soon realize these riders could easily have taken the easy way out and gone down the path to be a professional athlete, taking more from the earth than they gave back—but they didn’t.
While nobody is perfect, the folks at Beyond Boarding are exactly what the world needs more of—people who care, and are willing to put the issues of others, and the future, ahead of themselves. Their dedication and accomplishments are beautifully documented in The Radicals, and the issues they investigate in the film are but a microcosm of the greater issues in the world today. The movie will be the only local film shown next week at the Whistler Film Festival next week alongside a lineup of other epic films, and if you aren’t in town we would advise you find the nearest premiere and get to this movie—it might be one of the most important things you do to get ready for the winter, and beyond.-ML
For tickets to the Whistler show: https://whistlerfilmfestival.com/detail/?slug=the-radicals
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/709978642696160/
More shows: www.theradicalsfilm.com