Green, a film by Patrick Rouxel
GREEN is her name, she is alone in a world that doesn’t belong to her. She is a female orangutan, victim of deforestation and resource exploitation. This film is an emotional journey with GREEN’s final days. With no narration, it is a visual ride presenting the devastating impacts of logging and land clearing for palm oil plantations, the choking haze created by rainforest fires and the tragic end of rainforest biodiversity. We watch the effects of consumerism and are faced with our personal accountability in the loss of the world’s rainforest treasures.
The film “Green”, is a 48 min long documentary on the Indonesian rainforest, deforestation and orangutan extinction. It is a silent film (without narration, but with music) which addresses itself both to the Indonesians and the consumers of wood/paper/palm oil around the world.
This important documentary was filmed in the fast disappearing Indonesian rainforest and is not narrated, however, its message is clear and frightening. The home of the Orangutan and many other wildlife species in Indonesia is being decimated at an alarming rate by consumer need and greed.
The film features the widespread practice of ‘slash and burn’ to clear the lush rainforest to make way for extensive palm oil plantations which we, the consumer, support in our demand for our favorite foods, magazines, cosmetics, and, increasingly, bio-fuel. The practice has also seen Indonesia move into third place behind the US and China with regard to carbon emissions due to the uncovering of peat soil which has lain, undisturbed, below the tropical rainforest for centuries. The film exposes the illegal pet trade that thrives in Indonesia and the sick, despairing lives of those Orangutan who spend years, often all their lives, locked in small cages, suffering, alone.
The story thread follows the fate of a female Orangutan who has been captured and brought in because her forest home has been decimated. She is one of the lucky ones – most are slaughtered without mercy when caught. Her fate though, is not a happy one, as her trauma at the hands of man is too great. Your heart will break with resounding pity, but it is even more sobering to know that she is only one of hundreds every week who will suffer a similar fate.
Make sure everyone you know watches this documentary. We owe it to our friends, the gentle Orangutan, we owe it to our planet, and we owe it to ourselves so that we can learn from it.
Green needs to be taken seriously. That means it, and the issues it touches upon, need to be studied critically. The purpose of this site is to facilitate that study and make Green even more accessible to student audiences. We hope that this will facilitate the action and thinking that Green requires. For it is difficult just to watch it, but what to do requires some thought.