“I think humans could really learn something from us whales,” says one of the two characters in this humorous, animated short that imagines a whimsical conversation between a sperm whale and a man. Guess which one has more wisdom?
Children don’t need shiny plastic things, video games or expensive toys to have fun. A pile of logs and sticks can provide an active imagination with plenty of tools for hours of entertainment. This film takes us Into the Middle of Nowhere — an outdoor nursery in the Scottish countryside with a group of children who are just learning about the challenges of growing up. The woods become the place where the normal rules of society come to a halt and where play transforms the surroundings into the children’s wildest imaginations.
How about these numbers: Americans spent $165 billion on consumer electronics in 2010, and we bought more than 260,000 computers a day. E-waste is the fastest-growing stream of waste in the world (there are approximately 40 million metric tons of it each year worldwide) and is the subject of this fast-paced film by Isaac Brown and Eric Flagg, who were previously at Mountainfilm in 2007 with Gimme Green. The filmmakers have made (with the help of a 2010 Mountainfilm Commitment Grant) an important documentary that turns statistics into a human story of many people — gamers who need the newest high-definition screen, an earnest and effective American recycler and children in Ghana who break apart the toxic remains of our computers, cell phones and televisions. The U.S. is the only industrialized country that doesn’t prohibit the export of its e-waste, so these children are exposed to the lead, cadmium and mercury from computers once used by the Connecticut Department of Health and the EPA.