March 12–24

Once again, AFI Silver is proud to host screenings in this year's Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital. Since launching in 1993, the festival has pioneered a movement to advance environmental understanding through the power of film, and now serves as a model for environmental film festivals across the country and around the world.

Films listed here will screen at AFI Silver March 16-24; the full festival runs March 12-24. For a complete schedule, visit All film notes courtesy of the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital, unless otherwise noted.

No passes accepted.


This documentary (Rob Stewart’s follow-up to his acclaimed SHARKWATER) seeks to inspire a revolution that will change the planet and save life on Earth. Searching for the secret to saving Earth’s ecosystems, Stewart embarks on a life-threatening adventure, discovering that it's not only sharks that are in grave danger—it's humanity itself. From the coral reefs in Papua New Guinea and deforestation in Madagascar to the largest and most destructive environmental project in history in Alberta, Canada, he reveals that environmental degradation, species loss, ocean acidification, pollution and food/water scarcity are reducing the Earth's ability to house humans. How did this happen, and what will it take to change course?

DIR/SCR/PROD Rob Stewart. Canada, 2012, color, 97 min. NOT RATED


Sat, Mar 16, 5:15

Introduction by Norbert Bärlocher, Head of Communications and Cultural Affairs, Embassy of Switzerland.

Over the last decade, millions of bees have disappeared worldwide. Is this a one-time anomaly or a total system collapse? What separates this documentary from earlier
films on the subject is that it proposes a possible solution. The filmmaker seeks to showcase the bees’ story in a much larger context: the over-stressed and continually growing pyramid of the global economy, at the base of which are insects. From the Alps to the Arizona desert, bees have virtually become assembly line workers in a machine expected to function with the simple push of a button, like Chaplin’s MODERN TIMES.

DIR/PROD Markus Imhoof; SCR Kerstin Hoppenhaus; PROD Pierre-Alain Meier, Thomas Kufus, Helmut Grasser. Switzerland/Germany/Austria, 2012, color, 91 min. In English, German and Mandarin with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Co-presented by the Embassy of Switzerland.


Sun, Mar 17, 4:45

Introduction by Ann Harvey Yonkers, Co-Executive Director, FRESHFARM Markets.

Lucien and Regina are a husband-and-wife team of foragers who make their living gathering wild mushrooms in the woodlands of New Jersey and selling them to New York City restaurants. The foraging lifestyle is unpredictable and financially unstable, however, and puts the couple's marriage— and ideals—to the test. Co-director and actor Jason Cortlund offers a de-romanticized take on the foodie movement and explores the work and struggle that goes into preparing food to be eventually enjoyed and eaten.

DIR/SCR Jason Cortlund; DIR/PROD Julia Halperin; PROD Kit Bland, Krzysztof Szpetmanski. US/Poland, 2012, color, 94 min. NOT RATED


Sun, Mar 17, 7:15


Set inside one of the world’s most dangerous professions, the commercial fishing industry, this documentary takes to the high seas of the North Atlantic—Herman Melville territory—to capture this harsh, unforgiving world in all of its visceral, haunting, cosmic detail. Shot on a fishing boat 200 miles off the Massachusetts coast with waterproof digital cameras that were passed freely from film crew to ship crew, the result is a hallucinatory sensory experience quite unlike any other, as cameras swoop from below sea level to literal bird’s-eye views. To paraphrase Francis Ford Coppola describing his APOCALYPSE NOW, LEVIATHAN isn’t a movie about commercial fishing; it is commercial fishing. (Courtesy of the New York Film Festival)

DIR/SCR/PROD Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Véréna Paravel. France/UK/US, 2012, color, 87 min. NOT RATED


Sat, Mar 23, 6:15


A romantic drama centered on a man who reconnects with a woman from his hometown after his marriage to a European woman falls apart, this film is an exploration of love in its many forms. Ben Affleck plays Neil, who falls in love with a woman named Marina (Olga Kurylenko) in Paris. Together they visit Mont Saint-Michel, known in France as “the wonder of the Western world.” After they move to Oklahoma, problems arise. Marina makes the acquaintance of a priest and fellow exile (Javier Bardem), while Neil, who has taken a job as an environmental inspector, renews his ties with a childhood girlfriend (Rachel McAdams).

DIR/SCR Terrence Malick; PROD Sarah Green, Nicolas Gonda. US, 2012, color, 112 min. In English, French, Russian, Italian and Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED


Sat, Mar 23, 8:15


In the prefecture of Nagashima (an amalgam of Japan’s nuclear traumas), two families are torn apart when an earthquake causes a nuclear meltdown. The government draws danger zones across the area, with one line going right between the houses of two neighbors: the Onos and the Suzukis. The elder, Ono Yasuhiko, decides to stay in the “safe” zone where their home lies, while the Suzuki family evacuates. The film captures the often surreal ways the government exhibits denial through its policy, discriminates among its citizens and causes mass nuclear fear, all while telling a touching story of two families and their struggles to stay united. (Courtesy of Phillip Lorenzo)

DIR/SCR Sion Sono, based on his novel; PROD Yuji Sadai, Mizue Kunizane, Yûko Shiomaki. Japan, 2012, color, 133 min. In Japanese with English subtitles. NOT RATED


Sun, Mar 24, 3:30