'Monumental: David Brower's Fight for Wild America'
In an age where constructing papier-maché caricatures of world leaders is considered activism, it's revealing to see a documentary where an idealist actually engages government and effects positive change. With his silver hair and tongue, David Brower (mountain climber, WW II vet, pal of Ansel Adams) becomes executive director of the Sierra Club and expands it into a major lobbying force, even- tually pushing through the 1964 Wilderness Act. He used photography to cajole reluctant government types, as well as to preserve a memory of what he could not physically save. The film is made up of these sumptuously weathered 16mm home movies (from 1930 to 1970) of his various expeditions to the American West. But instead of the affectless soundtrack of mopey indie rock, a trip through the Anthology of American Folk Music would have better served the landscape.
Get the Film Club Newsletter
Stay up to date on the best new movies with our critics' latest reviews, interviews and trailers for the films coming to a theater near you each week.
More Film News
- Alex Gibney: Steve Jobs Had the 'Focus of a Monk — Without the Empathy'
- Netflix’s 'Narcos' Tries to Be 'The Wire' for Colombia’s Drug War
- ‘The Second Mother’ Offers a Sharp Brazilian Take on the Upstairs/Downstairs Drama
- The Predictability of Teary Kids Doc 'My Voice, My Life' Doesn't Make It Any Less Powerful