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If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front (2011)

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A rare behind-the-curtain look at the Earth Liberation Front, the radical environmental group that the FBI calls America's 'number one domestic terrorist threat.'
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Daniel McGowan ...
Himself - Earth Liberation Front Activist
Lisa McGowan ...
Herself - Daniel's Sister
Tim Lewis ...
Himself - Activist & Filmmaker
Kirk Engdall ...
Himself - Assistant U.S. Attorney
Jim Flynn ...
Himself - Former Editor, Earth First Journal
Jenny Synan ...
Herself - Daniel's Girlfriend
Susan Synan ...
Herself - Jenny's Mother
Bill Barton ...
Himself - Native Forest Council
Leslie James Pickering ...
Himself - Former ELF Spokesman
Greg Harvey ...
Himself - Detective, Eugene Police Department
Chuck Tilby ...
Himself - Captain, Eugene Police Department
Suzanne Savoie ...
Herself - Daniel's Ex-Girlfriend
Steve Swanson ...
Himself - President, Superior Lumber
Chuck Wert ...
Himself - Executive Vice President, Superior Lumber
Don Rice ...
Himself - Manager, Jefferson Poplar Farms
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Storyline

IF A TREE FALLS is a rare behind-the-curtain look at the Earth Liberation Front, the radical environmental group that the FBI calls America's 'number one domestic terrorist threat.' With unprecedented access and a nuanced point of view, the documentary tells the story of Daniel McGowan, an ELF member who faced life in prison for two multi-million dollar arsons against Oregon timber companies. The film employs McGowan's story to examine larger questions about environmentalism, activism, and terrorism. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

January 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Queda de uma Árvore: A História da Frente de Libertação da Terra  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$5,634 (USA) (24 June 2011)

Gross:

$61,153 (USA) (19 August 2011)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Daniel McGowan - Earth Liberation Front Activist: When you're screaming at the top of your lungs and no one hears you, what are you supposed to do?
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Connections

References Burning the Future: Coal in America (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Sleep Now In The Fire
Written by Tom Morello, Brad Wilk, Tim Commerford and Zack De La Rocha
Performed by Rage Against The Machine
Courtesy of Epic Records
Published by Retribution Music (BMI)
All rights administered by Wixen Music Publishing, Inc.
By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
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User Reviews

 
Terrorists-U-Like
16 February 2012 | by (Saffron Walden, UK) – See all my reviews

What do you do if you feel something terrible is happening, and the cause of that terrible thing is systematic? - that is, the systems for governing our world offer no possibility of change, because they themselves are part of the problem. Either you accept the system, or you fight it - and if your methods include violence, you thereby become a terrorist, and (in a sense) an enemy of those who chose to work within the system instead. The Earth Liberation Front were a group of ecological activists who took to arson; and whose members eventually wound up in gaol. This film allows them to present their case, and interestingly, they come over as intelligent and thoughtful and not in the least wild or woolly in their thinking. To its credit, the film also interviews some of their targets and those responsible for their prosecution, who are not demonised and who also come over as human. The only thing I struggled with was the insistence of front members that they weren't terrorists. I rather think they were - but this thought-provoking documentary raises the question of whether being a terrorist is always wrong, and doesn't offer easy answers in either direction.


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