Actors Joaquin Phoenix, Rosario Dawson, Matthew Modine, Oona Chaplin and Adria Arjona are pictured on the set of the climate emergency short film "Guardians of Life" in Los Angeles. Photo: Nation Earth/Handout via REUTERS

'Joker' star Phoenix takes aim at climate apathy with film about dying Earth

By Matthew Green

Oscar favorite Joaquin Phoenix stars as a medic battling to save a dying planet Earth in a film launched on Thursday, the first in a series of short Hollywood productions aimed at spurring action on climate change.

The "Joker" star teamed up with environmental activist group Extinction Rebellion and Amazon Watch, a California-based organization campaigning to protect the Amazon rainforest, to produce the 2-minute film "Guardians of Life."

Shot in a Los Angeles emergency room, the movie shows doctors attempting to save an unidentified patient whose flatlining vital signs represent the threat posed by climate change, deforestation and fires from Australia to the Amazon.

"It's really a call to action," said Phoenix, among the most prominent Hollywood stars to draw attention to the catastrophic damage being caused by human-induced global warming.

"People don't realize there's still time, but only if we act now and make sweeping changes to our consumption. We can't wait for governments to solve these problems for us."

Founded in Britain, Extinction Rebellion promotes its climate activism through civil disobedience, and Phoenix was himself arrested at a climate change protest organized by fellow Hollywood star Jane Fonda in Washington last month, a few days after winning a Golden Globe for his starring role in "Joker".

The first in a planned series of 12 short films, "Guardians of Life" points to the vital role indigenous people play in protecting habitats, a finding emphasised by scientists studying the million plant and animal species they say risk extinction due to damage caused by industrial society.

"This film is very important for us at this moment," said Sonia Guajajara, head of Brazil's largest indigenous umbrella organisation, the Association of Indigenous Peoples.

"It demonstrates the artists' engagement in Amazon protection by showing the key role indigenous peoples play in defending the forests, the planet, and life itself."

Rosario Dawson, Matthew Modine and Oona Chaplin appear alongside Phoenix in the film. It was directed by Shaun Monson and produced with Mobilize Earth, a U.S. not-for-profit organisation set up for the series, and aims to raise money for Extinction Rebellion and Amazon Watch.

"There is still a disconnect between how bad things are and the action that needs to happen," said Gail Bradbrook, a co-founder of Extinction Rebellion. "But that gap is narrowing. There are more significant people starting to break ranks, to tell the truth and act as if it is real."

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

Well done to all involved here.

our planet can still be saved, but we can’t leave it up to corrupt, greedy politicians & companies to do the saving

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Antarctica just reached 18c today.

This is very bad.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Much as we like to dismiss Hollywood liberals, we dismiss climate change and the pollution of the planet at our peril.

It is right that people with a high public profile should bring these concerns to a wider audience.

But it will still provoke a negative response from those who have vested interests, from the conspiracy theorists and those who prefer short term greed and profit over long term survival and legacy for those who come after us.

"Daddy, what did you do before the time of dying?"

"Well son, I carried on as before, I didn't change my habits and I sneered at those who did, or tried to."

"But the planet is ruined, Daddy, you... you could have been part of the efforts to save it!"

"No, son, the planet, hell, the humanity isn't all that. You haveta unnerstand, the most important thing is sticking it to the cry baby liberals!"

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

More holier than thou hypocritical Hollywood preaching from high paid actors who fly private planes and helicopters, and own huge mansions. One of whose carbon foot print will probably outweigh 100 of us 'deplorables'. Not to mention the violent pollution and filth much of thier movies contain. Oh, and then there is the rampant sex abuse and accusations of pedophilia to investigate. Sick of hearing from them.

That's not to say we should not tackle environmental problems. We should live cleaner, recycle waste etc, etc.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Just saw a NOVA Polar Extremes episode that was pretty clear about climate change. The last time there was so much CO2 in the atmosphere, sea level was 80 miles into the USA eastern coast. This happened before humans were on Earth.

In human history, including multiple ice ages and warm periods, the CO2 levels were much less than they are today. Humans burning coal and other fossile fuels are release billions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere. Rain can take some of that CO2 into the oceans where it gets used by sea life to make shells and gets pulled to the sea floor (out of the atmosphere).

In the milder parts of Earth, we don't see the changes as clearly as they do way north and way south. When we visit 50 deg N and S, the climate changes are very clear. Once you stand on a melting glacier and see all the melt up close, see the calving, and see proof that the glaciers are massively shrinking, you won't have any doubts that the climate scientist are correct.

I don't know if there is time left or not. I have doubts, because world-wide changes take decades to see. There will be mass extinctions. No way around that. Hundreds of millions of humans are going to be impacted. No way around that.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Australia broke off Antarctica and the ice has been melting since just as Australia has been drying up. Those are the facts. How does one dispute that?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

More holier than thou hypocritical Hollywood preaching from high paid actors who fly private planes

Here's what Joaquin Phoenix said when he won the Golden Globe for Best Actor:

"Golden Globe Awards winner Joaquin Phoenix calls out Hollywood climate activists for using private jets"

“It’s really nice that so many people have come up and sent their well wishes to Australia, but we have to do more than that. It’s such a beautiful gesture... I’ve not always been a virtuous man. I’m learning so much and so many of you in this room have given me multiple opportunities to get it right, and I am grateful. But I think together, hopefully, we can be unified and actually make some changes.”

“It’s great to vote but sometimes we have to take that responsibility on ourselves and make changes and sacrifices in our own lives and hope that we can do that. We don’t have to take private jets to Palm Springs for the award sometimes, or back. Please. And I’ll try to do better and I hope you will, too.”

And he's taking the same tuxedo for all the award shows.

Just so ya know before ya preach

1 ( +2 / -1 )

They need more education.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Phoenix is just another “Harveywood-Epstein” hack actor trying to improve the bad ratings of his current movie. A movie with no redeeming values.

His jumping on the climate-alarmism bandwagon is no surprise. Global-warming is an unverified hoax to justify imposing more taxes & gov’t imposition of rules to control your behaviour. Embrace none if it.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Over all, air travel accounts for about 2.5 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions — a far smaller share than emissions from passenger cars or power plants.

Wish people would concentrate on large improvements in the major problem emission technologies. This sensationalized redirection away from the more important causes happens all the time.

That teen who decided to take a ship from America back to Europe made a huge mistake.

It has been estimated that just one of these container ships, the length of around six football pitches, can produce the same amount of pollution as 50 million cars. The emissions from 15 of these mega-ships match those from all the cars in the world. And if the shipping industry were a country, it would be ranked between Germany and Japan as the sixth-largest contributor to global CO2 emissions.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Billions live in poverty, lack the basic necessities of life, education, clean water, medical care, etc. and all these elites can think of is supporting unverified so called global warming?

Global warming and animal welfare are often the pet causes of the rich because these causes ease thier guilty consciences over thier lives of luxury while the poor perish.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The problem with the world is over population and its not modern economies like Japan, Australia or Europe that are the causes of this its places like Africa and the Middle East.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Global warming is happening; that's not in dispute

What's not verified is how much humans are contributing to it - is it significant or not, or how much degree of significance

Overpopulation does contribute to it, but also production per capita (some are more productive than others)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites