Climate Change Film “This Changes Everything” Screens at Parrish

Burning Sugar Cane Field in El Salvador. Film still from "This Changes Everything,"
Burning Sugar Cane Field in El Salvador. Film still from “This Changes Everything,” Courtesy Parrish Art Museum

The Parrish Art Museum is presenting the first regional screening of This Changes Everything, director Avi Lewis’ epic attempt to reimagine the vast challenge of climate change, this Friday, January 15 at 6 p.m.

Inspired by journalist Naomi Klein’s bestseller of the same title, the film was shot in a total of 211 days over the course of four years, in nine countries and five continents. This Changes Everything presents seven portraits of communities on the front lines of climate change and global warming, such as Montana’s Powder River Basin, the Alberta Tar Sands, the coast of South India, and Beijing, China.

The Parrish screening will be introduced by Edwina von Gal, founder of Perfect Earth Project, a nonprofit that that seeks to preserve the earth’s ecosystems by raising awareness about and reducing the use of toxins in landscapes.

Klein’s narration, interwoven among the various stories of struggle, connects the carbon in the air with the economic system she perceives as responsible for it. Throughout the film, Klein builds to her most controversial idea: that the existential crisis of climate change can be the starting point for transforming a failed economic system into something better.

This Changes Everything is especially powerful and timely as climatologists anticipate the effects of rising sea levels, changes in weather patterns, and the impact on coastal zones—especially when one considers that half the world’s population live within 200 miles of a sea coast, ours notwithstanding,” Andrea Grover, the Century Arts Foundation Curator of Special Projects at the Parrish says.

The 89-minute film, which finished second in audience voting for the documentary category at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, tells seven highly personal stories with far reaching consequences.

Among them, Crystal is a young indigenous leader in Tar Sands country who fights for access to a restricted military base in search of answers about an environmental disaster in progress. Mike and Alexis, a Montana goat ranching couple, experience the dire effects of a broken oil pipeline, and respond by organizing against fossil fuel extraction in Powder River Basin and forming an alliance with the Northern Cheyenne tribe to bring solar power to the nearby reservation.

The film also tells the story of Melachrini, a housewife in Northern Greece at the forefront of a powerful social movement in that country, where the economic crisis is used to justify mining and drilling projects that threaten the environment and the tourism industry. A story from Andhra Pradesh, India centers on Jyothi, a matriarch whose fight alongside her fellow villagers helps ignite a nationwide movement against a proposed coal-fired power plant that will destroy a life-giving wetland.

This Changes Everything follows last Friday’s sold out screening of Laurie Anderson’s film Heart of a Dog at the Parrish. If this week’s screening goes anything like last week’s, expect a big crowd and reserve your seat early. You don’t want to be turned away at the door. Tickets, which include free museum admission, are free for museum members and $10 for non-members.

The Parrish Art Museum is located at 279 Montauk Highway in Water Mill. Call 631-283-2118 or visit for more info.

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