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Film Discussion Guide

Download the discussion guide for the documentary If a Tree Falls and use it for facilitating conversation about this film at home, in the classroom or at community screenings.

If a Tree Falls: Discussion Guide

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If A Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front explores two pressing issues — environmentalism and terrorism — by lifting the veil on a radical environmental group the FBI calls America's "number one domestic terrorism threat." As an outreach tool, If A Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front provides an excellent springboard for deep discussion about the tensions inherent in social change movements. It explores differences among people who want to work within the system, those who support a strategy of civil disobedience and those who choose to "fight fire with fire" (literally and figuratively). As it asks hard questions about environmentalism, activism and the way we define terrorism, the film helps viewers reach beyond simplistic public policy debates to uncover the complex and passionate lives behind the headlines and statistics.

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Film Information

If a Tree Falls (90 min.)

Premiere Date: September 13, 2011

Encore Broadcast Date: Oct. 11, 2012

Streaming Dates: Expired

Photos: Download Here

Trailer: Link | Embed

Filmmaker: Marshall Curry Bio | Interview | Statement

Press: Oscar Nomination Press Release | Press Release for Broadcast | Fact Sheet | Critical Acclaim | Press Release


Marshall Curry
Marshall Curry

I'm always intrigued when reality cuts against my expectations or stereotypes. How did this guy — who could be anyone's little brother, or employee, or next-­door neighbor — wind up facing life in prison for 'eco-terrorism'?”

— Marshall Curry, Filmmaker


Film Update

Critical Acclaim

[A] sterling example of journalistic documentary, clearer, fairer and more engrossing than any of the sensationalistic newspaper or magazine stories about ELF.”

— Andrew O'Hehir,

Grade: A... The film sweeps us up like a thriller... a fantastic moral ambivalence”

— Owen Gleiberman,
Entertainment Weekly

The film's sobriety and carefully balanced arguments make it an exemplary piece.”

— Stephen Holden,
The New York Times

5-stars: [The] filmmakers raise questions and stir public debate about the definition of terrorism, especially in the post 9/11 security environment...very compelling.”

— Jennifer Merin, Documentaries

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