"That's what creates a sustainable system: a human's engagement in a respectful and responsible way with land, and water and air and animals. It can't be extractive all the time."
In the breathtakingly beautiful redwood forests of Northern California, a battle is being waged – a battle that is part of the larger war against corporate greed and extraction. Tree-sitters, forest advocates, and Indigenous peoples are working to protect, reclaim and manage the remaining 2% of old growth redwood forests, as well as second-growth areas that are beginning to become nurturing ecosystems again.
But it's an uphill battle in every sense of the word. Green Diamond owns some 400,000 acres of land in Northern California, tucked away on private lands behind sparse beauty screens and an eco-groovy public image. Tree-sitters protect what they can where they can, tying trees together to multiply their efforts. At the same time forest advocates battle in court to stop the destruction of fragile habitats based on what little legislation there is to protect endangered species. Indigenous tribes work to regain control of ancestral lands so that they can engage with these spaces as they did for thousands of years.
As climate chaos rages across the globe, a single redwood has much to teach us about the science and the magic of our place in nature. Redwood forests are some of the most carbon dense forests in the world. They are also beyond words – massive beings who tower over our small bodies, yet invite us in to the soft reverie of an enchanted wood. Here we can be reminded of our place in nature, we may be reminded of the love of self that is necessarily the love for nature. And we may be reminded of the need and the call to defend what we love, in whatever ways, in whatever places we can.
"Eleanor's documentary is beautiful and contains a lot of wisdom, not just about the forests, but about resistance in general. And I appreciate how much it deals in specifics -- something I think we need more of, since for those unfamiliar, the idea of something like deforestation or even climate change in general can seem too abstract to act upon. We really need to be naming names, and Eleanor's done that unapologetically here."— Jenny Odell, New York Times Bestselling Author
"For centuries capitalism mis-priced and blindly exploited our natural resources. Profit was and remains the incentive. To the Trees exposes and protests the assault on the Redwoods' unmatched beauty and thereby on our physical, mental, and emotional health."— Richard D. Wolff, Economics Professor, Author, Award-winning Show Host
"To the Trees expertly weaves the story of colonization and corporatization's destruction of some of the Earth's oldest trees, and the brave people fighting to protect them and all living beings."— Jen Deerinwater, Founding Executive Director, Crushing Colonialism
"In her beautifully filmed and composed documentary, To The Trees, Eleanor Goldfield shows the decimation of our old-growth forests and efforts to stop this crime while placing the struggle in the broader context of colonialism and capitalism. Aptly named, To The Trees will inspire you to embrace and protect our few remaining forests."— Margaret Flowers, Director Popular Resistance