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Defendant 5    cover image

Defendant 5 2014

Highly Recommended

Distributed by Green Planet Films, PO Box 247, Corte Madera, CA 94976-0247; 415-377-5471
Produced by Ruth Cross
Directed by Heidi Lee Douglas
DVD, color, 30 min.

High School - General Adult

Date Entered: 03/13/2017

Reviewed by Barb Kundanis, Longmont Public Library, Longmont, CO

Defendant 5 is a David and Goliath story of environmentalists in Tasmania challenging the giant logging company Gunns. The Gunns 20 are the various people Gunns sues under the guise of conspiracy including filmmaker Heidi Lee Douglas who is Defendant 5. Her short films had exposed their destructive methods.

The film spans 2001-2010 discussing the long court fight and its effects on the defendants. Douglas' narration provides personal touches while interviews with others involved (including Wilderness Society members) tell the story from other perspectives. Also shown are the beautifully photographed ancient forests that are threatened by Gunns' damaging practices.

This film is a short powerful documentary about how free speech and film can take on a billion dollar company and win. It is an amazing story that inspires activism and opposes "silencing dissent." Students can experience the highs and lows of advocating for a just cause.