Behold the Earth to be shown as part of the Earth Day Film Fest at the Strand Theater

In celebration of Earth Day, on April 22nd at 1:00 pm, Rockland’s Strand Theatre will screen Behold the Earth, a documentary film by local filmmaker and conservationist David Conover. A discussion will follow the screening, led by film co-producer Manette Pottle with Maine pastor and spiritual storyteller Peter Panagore and local conservation leaders.

Behold the Earth provides an original opportunity to re-examine and expand the community of U.S. environmentalists to chart a course to a brighter future. The film also asks the question, “Could a journey into Creation determine the future of the church?” A music-rich documentary, Behold the Earth explores America’s estrangement from the outdoors through conversations with legendary scientists E.O. Wilson, Cal DeWitt, and Theo Colborn, as well as a new generation of Creation Care activists within America’s Christian communities: Katharine Hayhoe, Ben Lowe, and Corina Newsome are close observers of nature bearing witness to creation, asking tough questions about church engagement with environmental issues. Can these emerging leaders help reduce the human degradations of the living planet, wrought by toxins and a destructively warming climate? Along the way, can they revive the reach and relevance of both environmentalism and Christianity in America? Four time Grammy-award winning musician Dirk Powell leads the arrangements of traditional American tunes and hymns, with Rhiannon Giddens and Tim Eriksen.

According to Director David Conover, “Behold the Earth began 12 years ago with a hunch that the conversation about our human impact on the environment must be a broader conversation than it has been in America over the past 50 years. Perhaps with new words. Perhaps with unexpected listeners. Yes, the conversation needed to be informed by the biological and other sciences that are observing, measuring, and understanding how those impacts are happening. But the conversation also needed a level of committed engagement and richness that is possible with a substantive moral component, grounded in influential American beliefs of who we are, and where we are going. I spoke with faith leaders, eminent scientists, and a younger generation of Christian evangelicals and environmentalists, all who were eager to talk with me about how best to engage Americans in the challenges of climate change, and the moral and personal dimensions that accompany this important duty, or calling. Much of their guidance came with encouragement to deeply reconsider the word ‘behold.’”

Behold the Earth premiered to a sold-out house at the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital in March, 2017, and has screened since at both film festivals and in secular and Christian communities across the country. Andy Peterson, CEO of Different Drummer and creator of the Justice Film Festival, describes Behold the Earth as “a meditative and spiritually engrossing documentary film with deeper themes of redemption and action – calling viewers to engage in protecting God’s creation. An important and timely film that uniquely outlines the role of the church in the climate change conversation.” And Kyle Meyaard-Schaap of Young Evangelicals for Climate Action (YECA), writes “Behold the Earth is not merely a film, it is an experience...its luxurious pace invites you to not only observe the beauty of the Earth, but to truly behold it.” Climate scientist Katherine Hayhoe, featured in the film, says, “People ask me if I believe in global warming. I tell them, 'No I don’t,’ because belief is faith; faith is the evidence of things not seen. Science is evidence of things seen. To have an open mind, we have to use the brains that God gave us to look at the science.”

This screening is co-sponsored by The Strand Theatre and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. Manette Pottle, a member of St. Peter’s and co-producer of the film, will be joined for a post-screening discussion by the Rev. Peter Panagore. Panagore has a Master’s in Divinity from Yale and served for fifteen years as the writer, producer, and fifth host of America’s longest running religious broadcast, Daily Devotions, at the First Radio Parish of American. Several local conservation leaders will also join the panel discussion. Suggested Donation $10.

For more information about the screening, contact Marty Rogers at 236-8922 or the Strand Theatre at 594-0070.


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