Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Worth More Than Gold.

It began with a simple trailer, viewed from The Drakes film awards section, and then spiraled out of control into multiple daily viewings. The trailer had it all; an important issue, gorgeous cinematography, characters, and most importantly one of the best quotes of the year. Almost a year later, I found myself entering a quickly filling auditorium. My heartbeat began to rise and my anticipation was reaching a boiling point. I could not wait any longer to see this film.

Taking my seat, I scanned the audience and what I found fulfilled my expectations. You had your typical adventurous folk both rich and poor. You had your old filthy rich dressed in their best, and some young guns looking like they worked on wall street. Then you had the trout bums whose fly rods are worth more than the cars they drive. I fell into the latter category, and then I was bumped by my brother who whispered in my ear, "these guys are going to be your clients one day".

At first, I was a little standoffish like your typical fly fisherman but then I began to realize the commonalities we all shared. We were all there to see art displayed in its most visual form. Films made by fellow adventurers intent on making a difference in the world we have all come to cherish. These films ranged from climbing, saving the last of the earth's elephants, to protecting some of the last wild places on earth. Arts and causes that we all should be aware of. It did not matter that I never went rock climbing on the coast of California or kayaking down an untraveled river in the heart of Borneo. It also didn't matter that many of the people around me had never had the pleasure of catching and releasing a native trout in a pristine environment. We all have our differences, but we could all unite in supporting these filmmakers who lay their heart and soul on the line to spread the word.

The film I came to see, Red Gold, is Felt Soul Media's latest masterpiece detailing the proposed Pebble Mine in the headwaters of Bristol Bay, the last great wild salmon fishery on earth. The film is now traveling the country winning award after award and spreading awareness of the issue at hand. The filmmakers went our of their way to present all sides of the issue, the benefits and risks of both the mine and stopping the mine. With the issue so vividly displayed, where do we stand? We stand together united for a common purpose in an interconnected web of life with our environment and fellow species. This connection is our lifeline and is worth more than the gold beneath one of the last truly wild places on earth.

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