Force of Nature Sturla Gunnarsson

Force of Nature Sturla Gunnarsson
On the occasion of his 75th birthday, Dr. David Suzuki (the avuncular face of environmentalism in this nation since the '70s) delivered what was called his "legacy lecture" at the University of British Columbia. A mix of personal history and environmental theory, Suzuki called the lecture a compendium of "things I want to say before I die." This occasion brought into relief the mortality of a man who has been fighting the good fight for as long as most can remember. Where would we be without David Suzuki to lead the crusade? Force of Nature documents both the lecture and Suzuki's reflections on his life's work. Beginning with his experiences during WWII and the successive internment of Japanese-Canadians, Suzuki admirably focuses on the positive aspects of his life even when recalling hard times. His visit to Japan and Hiroshima allows him to explain how life regenerates itself and how interconnected we are with the planet. In the interior of BC, he explains how the fight of the Haida Gwaii against logging is not so much about the land itself, but being inextricably, humanly connected to the land. Both in his lecture, and in more intimate, often emotional interviews with the filmmakers, Suzuki consistently reveals his amazing ability to explain complex, often abstract concepts so that they are not only relatable, but resonant. The conceit here is, of course, that all the problems in the world mean nothing if the ecosystem can't support human growth. Suzuki has made this clear in lectures time and time again and this legacy lecture may be his final word on the subject as he goes into retirement. The DVD also includes a brief look at the David Suzuki Foundation and the lecture chopped up into excerpts. While approaching sentimentality in its final reels, Force of Nature is a strong portrait of an incredible man. It seems unlikely we'll see anyone in the same mould again any time in the immediate future. (eOne)