ENVIRONMENTAL FILMS

 
PRODUCED, WRITTEN & DIRECTED BY NEAL LIVINGSTON, 2001

The Battle At Our Shores

The Battle At Our Shores is a documentary following over a period of a year the ground swell of opposition that has arisen over the first inshore/coastal oil and gas exploration licenses to be given out in Canada in the Province of Nova Scotia. Most other jurisdictions have put moratoriums on inshore marine oil and gas activity. This documentary tracks this ecological and political controversy, which pits citizens groups against their governments and industry.

The Battle At Our Shores looks at citizen activism, governments that ignore democracy, and the fight against corporate globalism at a local level.

2002 an award-winning incisive, yet humorous, documentary which examines opposition to the first inshore and coastal oil and gas exploration licenses in Nova Scotia.

Neal Livingston's concern with environmental issues led him to become an activist and
to produce political documentaries on environmental issues. 

"Congratulations... I got seduced by your film. Thank you-above all for making it. And for making it so articulate, so handsome, and so effective." - Timothy Findlay (1930-2002), December 6, 2001 (world renowned Canadian author).

"The Battle At Our Shores discusses in a clear and sometimes comic way, the myriad issues around oil and gas exploration: conservation versus commence, royalties, the serious effects of seismic exploration on whales, and the amazing tangle of legislation which gives every political department and out on these licenses." - Elissa Barnard, The Halifax Herald - Halifax

The set of characters in this documentary are like worlds colliding. Fisher men and women, retirees, environmental activists, recent immigrants to rural Cape Breton, whale and marine scientists, politicians, the oil and gas exploration and development businessmen, and the bureaucrats who work in the public business of licensing resource exploitation.

The Battle At Our Shores is also about the incredible wealth generating marine and coastal ecosystem that is the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence. From its whales to the billion dollar a year commercial fishing and tourism sectors, to the natural beauty of this area, which is now faced with the most fundamental change to arise since the coming of the Europeans.

 " An alarming study of 48 oil and gas permits circling the provinces coastline .... Livingston felt it was time Canadians found out about the strange politics, empty job creation promises and environmental and economic risks." - Marla Cranston, The Daily News - Halifax 

It is a political documentary about an environmental issue made with a dash of humour, and it is about the human spirit that drives a diverse group of citizens to win against overwhelming odds.

The Battle At Our Shores received its premiere at the Atlantic Film Festival and has also been screened at the Baddeck International New Media Festival, the Telescience Festival in Montreal, and the Ekotop Festival in the Solvak Republic. It was second prize at the EarthVision Festival in Santa Cruz, California. It was featured at the L'international Du Cinema De L'estrie, 2002 in Quebec and at the Eco-Cinema Festival, 2002 in Greece. It also screened on VISION TV on January 5 & 9, 2002.

"This is Livingston's best film." David Swick, The Daily News - Halifax

 
PRODUCED, WRITTEN & DIRECTED BY NEAL LIVINGSTON, 1999 NARRATED BY DAVID SUZUKI

TOXIC PARTNERS

A documentary about two communities with toxic waste sites and the human suffering within them. The cities of Sydney, Cape Breton which has Canada's largest toxic waste site, and Fort Valley, Georgia a black community in Southern Georgia in the United States

The film is a strong and moving portrait which follows a community exchange of local citizen activists from these two communities visiting each others communities. It is a powerful document on how the respective Governments care little for the health and well being of these, their citizens.

The viewer is given a close up view of the horrible problems of these toxic sites, a shocking portrait of people living next to them, and the difficulties in cleaning them up. A main thrust of the film is to document how little is being done to move people away from living beside these environmentally dangerous areas, and the need for action by governments to remedy this.

Toxic Partners was produced in association with VISION TV and the Sierra Club of Canada.

"Toxic Partners ... raises some troubling concerns, but is more a call to arms for all communities with toxic waste problems than a balanced consideration of the issues." – Tony Atherton, TV Data Features Syndicate, March 23, 1999

 
PRODUCED, WRITTEN & DIRECTED BY NEAL LIVINGSTON, 1990

THE CAPE BRETON ENDANGERED SPACES

A brief overview of how clear cutting, plus the spraying of herbicides is killing off what few natural wilderness areas are left in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

Due to the intervention of commercial and political concerns, there is a real threat that the hill sides or plateaus which has not been specifically protected, may be destroyed.

The call here is to either find an alternative to clear cutting , or to preserve all remaining public lands in Cape Breton.

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PRODUCED, WRITTEN & DIRECTED BY NEAL LIVINGSTON, 1978

BUDWORKS

Through the 1980's in every Canadian province east of Saskatchewan, except Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, chemical insecticides are sprayed from the air onto the forests to combat the spruce budworm and other forest insects.

This film, which is an earlier companion piece to Herbicide Trials, is about the politics and the environmental decision-making surrounding the aerial spraying controversy.

The focus is on the province of New Brunswick whose spraying, which began in 1952, was discussed in Rachel Carson's seminal work Silent Spring. It explores who both sprayers and anti-sprayers are, the role of government, the economics and the health issues surround the aerial application of insecticides.

The film also examines how this all influenced Nova Scotia's decision not to begin an insecticide spraying program.

In October 1978 Budworks was featured in "What's Happening?" a weekly series of new films of provocative social and political interest at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

PRODUCED, WRITTEN & DIRECTED BY NEAL LIVINGSTON, 1984
 

HERBICIDE TRAILS

In 1983, fifteen Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, landowners went to court to stop the spraying of herbicides by the local subsidiary of a Swedish multinational on forests adjacent to their properties. They found that the testimony of scientists and the support of public opinion, both here and abroad, were not enough to win their case. The film shows their ordeal and the landmark Sydney trial. Concerns raised included potential conflict-of-interest situations where a government must protect citizens' health while supporting certain kinds of industry; the relative value of the political and judicial processes in mediating social problems; and the need for a public forum for debating environmental issues. The film contains outstanding footage from chemical-industry films of the 1950s and recent material about Vietnam veterans affected by Agent Orange.

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LINK TO FILM: CLICK HERE