Mark Twain once observed, “Everybody complains about the weather but nobody does anything about it.” That said, I know of one person who does. (And no, it’s not Al Roker the weatherman on the Today Show.) Josh Tickell has directed 14 films on environmental issues, and his latest, co-directed with his wife, Rebecca, is “Revolution Generation.”
This will be my third review of the Tickells’ eco documentaries but this may be the most important. Coinciding with Earth Week-end and the 52nd anniversary of Earth Day, Rev Gen premieres today and tomorrow at the Laemmle Monica Film Center on 2nd Street. (Josh and Rebecca will be at three screenings for Q & A including at the matinee.)
I first discovered Josh in 2008 when he had an office on Main Street and was releasing his documentary “Fuel” which won the Audience Award at Sundance. “Fuel” revealed America so addicted to oil it needed an intervention. Enter Tickell, with his bio-diesel Veggie Van in which he toured America. Like an eco Johnny Appleseed, he educated us on how to wean off dirty fossil fuels and transition to renewable energy.
In 2020, I reviewed the Tickells’ “Kiss the Ground,” narrated by Woody Harrelson. It was a fascinating film depicting farmers, scientists, celebrities and even cows working together to spread the word about regenerative agriculture’s potential to mitigate climate change. Initially pessimistic, Harrelson calls regenerative agriculture “a viable step toward healing our planet.” He asked viewers to “Save our soil in hopes the soil might save us.”
The Tickells’ films have won awards at Sundance, have been shown in the White House, and have been viewed by over 50 million people worldwide. (Take that Kardashians!)
“The Revolution Generation” is narrated by award-winning actress and frequent voice for eco issues, Michelle Rodriguez (Lost, Avatar, The Fast and The Furious.) Powerful and inspiring,“Rev Gen” is a manifesto for the often ridiculed Millenials who, at 80 million strong, are the most diverse generation in our country’s history and also America’s biggest work force. It examines the societal forces that have both shaped and held back their generation.
Simply put, if we want to understand the future, we have to understand this generation. While the film’s target audience is Millenials, the message to those of us who want desperately needed change is “all hands on deck.”
By definition, Millennial refers to those born between 1981 and 1996. Though it makes me dizzy to memorize, Millennials follow Generation X and precedes Generation Z. The term “Echo Boomers” is sometimes used when referring to Millennials because they are the offspring and, forgive me, of “my homies,” baby boomers.
Rev Gen humorously discredits the negative Millenial stereotypes, that they’re annoying, lazy, narcissistic and entitled. (Ouch!) Historically, older generations always mock younger generation and are prone to brag about “The good old days”. (Except “The good old days” are likely why we’re currently in these “not so good days.”)
Fortunately Rev Gen advances a more accurate view of Millennials who are, as a group, often socially liberal, identify as independents, care deeply about climate change, gay rights and equality among the races. Generally they don’t care where you were born, what religion you practice or who is in your bedroom. Many don’t accept the world the way it is and are working to revolutionize systems that have failed their generation,. (And all of us, for that matter.)
The fast paced 80-minute film takes viewers through the world that young people are inheriting. It paints a powerful and actionable picture of how today’s youth can help solve the global political and environmental crises. At the risk of being overly dramatic, Millenials have to succeed if we are to survive.
The Tickells’ hope for “The Revolution Generation” is that people from different generations empathize with one another. As Josh put it, “This is ultimately a film about connecting in new ways so we can work together to do great things. The ‘revolution’ that the film speaks about is a revolution of love and the heart. When we learn to love people who we typically judge, the world shifts.”
It’s fitting that Rev Gen’s premiere is in Santa Monica because for years Tickell had an office in Ocean Park and the film includes Santa Monica College students. In addition, one of the film’s Co-Producers, Dr. Sheila Laffey, teaches at SMC, while among the Executive Producers, Bill and Laurie Benenson, also have their offices in Santa Monica.
To encourage you to see “The Revolution Generation,” and hopefully get involved, I offer Gandhi’s inspiring quote, which was eventually turned into a popular bumper sticker in the 1960’s, “When people lead, leaders follow.” (It just dawned on me, this may be the first time Mark Twain, Mahatma Gandhi and the Kardashians have appeared in the same sentence.)
“The Revolution Generation” is streaming on Apple TV and I Tunes while the DVD and book on which it’s based are available on Amazon. Sadly, with nothing to sell, Jack is at: email@example.com.