An environmental documentary that was still a work in progress when it played at the 2012 Newport Beach Film Festival makes its television premiere in completed fashion on the PBS series American Masters tonight. Mark Kitchell's A Fierce Green Fire effectively presents five different decades of eco-activism through period music, archival footage and reflective modern-day interviews.
The film begins before the conservation movement that sprung up in the 1960s through today's global concerns about climate change, rainforest destruction and the need for a sustainable future.
Shortly after A Fierce Green Fire left Newport Beach, Kitchell talked about Meryl Streep being enlisted as the narrator. As the logo up front points out, Robert Redford ultimately got the gig.
By the way, you may recognize Kitchell's name from his film Berkeley In the Sixties, which was nominated for an Oscar and named the Best Documentary of 1990 by the National Society of Film Critics.
American Masters is showing A Fierce Green Fire in honor of Earth Day. (Check your local listings.) It will also stream on the American Masters website for six more weeks and soon be available via Netflix, iTunes, Amazon or on DVD.