University of Redlands

Professor Monty Hempel to screen original, short films

A trio of important environmental documentary films will premiere, followed by a Q & A with the filmmaker, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018, in Hall of Letters 100 on the University of Redlands campus. This event is free and open to the public.

U of R Professor Dr. Monty Hempel, a nationally recognized expert in sustainability education and environmental studies who is president of the nonprofit Blue Planet United, directed and produced three films for the series “A Celebration of Environmental Sanity.”

  • “Exploring the Anthropocene” examines the rise of the Anthropocene, a new geological era in which human activity profoundly threatens Earth’s geochemistry, climate and major ecosystems. It can also be described as a beneficial age in which the convergence of human ingenuity, technology, and socio-political necessity promises to improve the human condition and to restore degraded natural systems.
  • “Eye to Eye with Whales” documents how close encounters with whales can radically alter one’s perspective on life, especially as it relates to humanity’s place in the web of life. This brief film presents highlights of a two-hour encounter between seven whales and the filmmaker along Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, during his return from an expedition to study sharks in the Coral Sea. In one particularly poignant exchange, the filmmaker discovers firsthand how whales contribute to people’s sense of wonder and connection with wildness.
  • “The Greatest Truth” is an inspirational examination of natural beauty in the midst of global environmental threats. Filmed entirely in the Republic of Palau, this alluring travel film proves that stunning beauty can still be found in the remote islands and coral reefs of the Palau archipelago. Using a combination of aerial, ground and underwater footage, the filmmaker shows that captivating beauty remains, despite persistent threats to the systems that generate such beauty.