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The Reluctant Radical (2018)

THE RELUCTANT RADICAL features activist Ken Ward as he confronts his fears and puts himself in the direct path of the fossil fuel industry to combat climate change.


Lindsey Grayzel (as Lindsey Goodwin-Grayzel)


Ken Ward




Cast overview:
Ken Ward Ken Ward ... Ken Ward


If a crime is committed in order to prevent a greater crime, is it forgivable? Is it, in fact, necessary? THE RELUCTANT RADICAL features activist Ken Ward as he confronts his fears and puts himself in the direct path of the fossil fuel industry to combat climate change. Ken breaks the law as a last resort and with great trepidation, to fulfill what he sees as his personal obligation to future generations. After twenty years leading environmental organizations, Ken becomes increasingly alarmed by both the scientific evidence of climate change and the repercussions for civilization as we know it. Ken pushes for a crisis level response and when his efforts fail, he embraces direct action civil disobedience as the most effective political tool to deal with catastrophic circumstances. THE RELUCTANT RADICAL follows Ken for a year and a half through a series of direct actions, culminating with his participation in the coordinated action to shut down all the U.S. tar sands oil pipelines on ... Written by Lindsey Grayzel

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Ken Ward: Direct action creates points of moral clarity in conflict. It forces people to take sides one way or the other, no middle ground. That's what we need here: moral clarity - we need sides to be drawn, you know. Either you're for burning fossil fuels and ending the world, or you're against it. Which is it?
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Depicts the life of a passionate activist very accurately.
31 May 2018 | by HellmantSee all my reviews

'THE RELUCTANT RADICAL': Four and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

An environmental documentary following a year and a half in the life of activist Ken Ward, as he combats climate change. It's 77 minutes long, and it was written and directed by Lindsey Grayzel. The movie is now playing at Darkside Cinemas in Corvallis, OR (which is where I saw it), and it played at special screenings in Portland last month. I mostly loved it!

Ken Ward is a professional environmentalist, and he feels it's his obligation, more so than some others, to combat climate change. He also believes we've failed to meet this obligation, and actions need to be taken outside the law, in order to try and correct this wrong. The movie begins with Ward on trial, for committing certain crimes while fighting climate change. It shows this trial playout, while also going back over many other activist activities he's been involved in (over the last year-and-a-half) involving environmentalism. The movie definitely does a good job of showing Ward's passion for this cause, which is one of the most important issues facing everyone on this planet. I wish the film would have gone a little into veganism, as you can't honestly claim to be an environmentalist without being vegan, but the film never even touches on this issue. As it is, I still think it depicts the life of a passionate activist very accurately, and the drama they encounter on a daily basis. This is something passionate vegans know a lot about as well, because they live it obviously. To be fair the film never really goes into any actual actions individuals can take to fight climate change, other than just being a passionate activist. So I'd definitely still recommend it.

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13 May 2019 (Canada) See more »

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