The documentary filmmaker Nick Schader from Speyer accompanied the environmental activists in the Hambach Forest for more than two years. This resulted in the film »Trees of Protest«, a portrait of young people fighting against the clearing of the forest.
The clearing of the Hambach forest near Cologne was one of the biggest media events in autumn 2018. The environmental activists' protest against the lignite company RWE dominated the front pages in Germany and abroad for weeks. In the end more than 80 tree houses were cleared by the police, but the clearing was stopped by a court.
The film focuses on young environmental activists who have been living in tree houses for several years to protect the ancient trees from the planned clearing by the energy company RWE. The former largest forest in North Rhine-Westphalia has been cleared bit by bit for years in order to mine lignite.
In this 100-minute documentary, director Nick Schader gets closer to the activists in the forest than almost anyone else before him. The tree occupants, who usually only go in front of the cameras disguised to protect themselves from police persecution, show their faces openly here. They talk about their dreams, their hopes and why they dedicate all their energy to climate protection. »Trees of Protest« documents everyday life in the tree houses, which were built at a height of over 20 meters. The film also shows how a small, regional climate movement became a nationwide protest that provided the breeding ground for the »Fridays for Future« demonstrations.
The film lets renowned climate researchers have their say, explaining in a vivid way how dramatic climate change is already today and why the fairy tale of the alleged »natural climate fluctuation« is nothing more than factless propaganda by climate change deniers. »Today we have CO2 concentrations in the Earth's atmosphere that are higher than they have been for millions of years. It is absurd to speak here of natural fluctuations,« explains Heidelberg climate researcher Prof. Werner Aeschbach.
In October 2019 »Trees of Protest« celebrated its German premiere at the 53rd Hofer Filmtage. The documentary was nominated for the Special Award at the 68th International Film Festival Mannheim-Heidelberg.
Following the screening, a discussion with the director will take place. Marlene Grabiger from Klimakollektiv will also be present.
The event will be held in German.