After a successful summer of screening family friendly sports films at the West Wind Drive-In, UCSB Arts & Lectures this week turns our attention to the fate of what makes not only sports, but every aspect of our lives possible—the land where we live. Public Trust: The Fight for America’s Public Lands, a new documentary produced by Patagonia and directed by David Garrett Byars, may be the most important film you see this year, and you can view it either from your car, or seated in a lawn chair this Wednesday, September 23. The screenings are free, and there are two of them, one at 7:15 and the other at 9:15, to make sure that everyone who comes out gets a chance to experience this brilliant documentary before it makes its international premiere on Saturday, September 26 as part of National Public Lands Day.
You may already be aware of the important role that Ventura-based Patagonia has taken in protecting the Bears Ears region in southeastern Utah. Public Trust takes that fight as its point of departure, adding segments on the Boundary Waters in Minnesota and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to create a wide-ranging picture of the imminent threats to the American West in the form of government subsidized private resource extraction. The film combines a celebration of the natural beauty and cultural significance of these regions with a hard-nosed look at the way private interests aim to reduce them to sources of revenue and, eventually, toxic superfund sites. David Byars has assembled a terrific cast of activists, journalists, historians, and defenders of cultural heritage to tell this story, and added useful layers of visual information that reflect the enormous impact that threats to these public lands pose for our future. For more information, visit artsandlectures.ucsb.edu.
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