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Green issues on the big screen

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From the exploitation of Kenyan rose farmers to a Slovenian man fighting against pollution, this year's line-up proves there's more than enough film fodder for the eco-conscious among us.

With the term 'green' perhaps the only colour that's managed to successfully re-brand itself as a lifestyle in recent history, terms like organic, carbon footprint and bio-gas have firmly planted themselves into our vocabulary.

For anyone still needing an inspirational nudge in a greener direction though, John Maringouin's Big River Man is an ideal place to start.

With the meddlesome, hands on approach of Jamie Oliver and the death-defying tactics of Bear Grylls, Big River Man follows the real-life story of Slovenian Martin Strel who has become devoted to swimming the world's biggest rivers in a bid to highlight the damage caused by pollution.

As a 53-year-old heavy drinker, Strel's light-hearted bid to swim the Amazon is as eccentric as it is heroic whilst setting a new world record for the longest and most perilous swim.

With summer finally upon us, freshly cut flowers don't instantly spring to mind as a mechanism for oppression, let alone a catalyst for a human rights debate.

Tom Van Zantvoort's documentary a Blooming Business attempts to open up one such discussion with a look into the lives of Kenyan flower farmers who work relentlessly to meet unquenchable global demand.

As a handful of courageous workers come forward to share their experiences; talk of toxic chemicals, poor working conditions and exploitative wages gradually reveals the thornier truth lurking beneath the guise of the supermarket rose.


 

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