Josh and Dena, two young environmental activists, are planning a large scale act to force the world to think about what they're doing to the environment. They pull in Harmon, a man with a sketchy past, to help them pull off their big plan. However, unforeseen consequences bring a whole host of guilt, paranoia and other problems, and their ultimate act will change themselves more than the world around them. Written by
In the opening scenes of the film, Josh and Dena are shown at Lake of the Woods, which is in southern Oregon. Later in the film, when they are heading to the lake with the boat, they mention that they will have to put in "upstream at Lake of the Woods". The following morning, Josh asks what is going on as people are reading the news, and it is said that "Someone blew up Green Peter Dam last night", and later when Josh is at the library, the news article mentions Green Peter Dam, and the Santiam River, which Green Peter Dam impounds to form Green Peter Lake. Green Peter Dam is outside of Sweet Home, and is over 100 miles from Lake of the Woods. See more »
Whoa, I think that was an Oriole. I didn't know we had those.
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Guilt is what you feel before you do something wrong
Way too many negative reviews of this excellent production of cinematic art! I must speak out and state my opinion of this movie. It has little to do with radical environmentalism, as so many believe. Instead it is a story that deals with the lack of guilt and then the overwhelming feeling of remorse for a wrong committed.
The plot line is about three idealistic youths who are too immature to realize the consequences of their actions in creating a destructive environmental statement . Director Kelly Reichardt has Jesse Eisenberg as 'Josh', Dakota Fanning as 'Dena', and Peter Sarsgaard as 'Harmon'. Josh, Dena, and Harmon are best described as politically committed environmentalist. We are not given much information on each characters background, we know they are sensitive individuals because they care about the natural process of things around them. The Harmon character is the wild card and the leader of the other two. Harmon has a military background which makes him suspect from the start - if he cared about the environment why would he join the military - which is more about destruction than preservation.
Their idea to destroy a dam is half baked at best because it is made clear, after the fact, that destroying one dam on the river is futile as there are many dams along the course of the river. When Josh, Dena, and Harmon realize this they are consumed by regret for their foolish action and the fear of being caught. Harmon tells them to communicate in no way. Harmon disappears, Dena becomes a nervous wreck as shown by her case of hives, and Josh becomes paranoid and irrational.
Night Moves is a study in the human condition. We as individuals seldom consider the far reaching consequences of our hateful actions, and individuals create societies, societies create nations. I believe Kelly Reichardt has made a clear statement on our world today. Just because this story only shows the actions of three people their actions had far reaching consequences on innocent others. The same statement can be made about nations and their actions against other nations. And what is achieved in the end - destruction, death, fear, and paranoia.
At the end of the movie we see Josh becoming a nonperson and having to look over his shoulder from fear. In the mirror he has no reflection but he can see other people. Who's friend and who's foe?
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