SYNOPSIS
If a crime is committed in order to prevent a greater crime, is it forgivable? Is it, in fact, necessary?

THE RELUCTANT RADICAL follows 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, to fulfill what he sees as his personal obligation to future generations. After twenty years leading environmental organizations, Ken became increasingly alarmed by both the scientific evidence of climate change and the repercussions for civilization as we know it. Ken pushed for a crisis level response from inside environmental organizations. Those efforts failed, and he now 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 that shut down all the U.S. tar sands oil pipelines on October 11, 2016. The film reveals both the personal costs and also the fulfillment that comes from following one’s moral calling- even if that means breaking the law. Ken Ward has no regrets, and his certainty leaves the audience to consider if he is out of touch with reality, or if it is the rest of society that is delusional for not acting when faced with the unsettling evidence that we are collectively destroying our world.

 

Director Lindsey Grayzel, co-producer Deia Schlosberg and cinematographer Carl Davis were three of four independent filmmakers to be arrested and charged with crimes for filming the activists on October 11, 2016. Their charges have been dropped, and they have joined forces to tell Ken’s story through this film.


 

"The Reluctant Radical is the most striking environmental documentary I've seen to date- and I have seen plenty. It is an absolute must-see."

-D. Schwartz, Cine Source

 
 
FILMMAKERS

PRODUCER/DIRECTOR, EDITOR: LINDSEY GRAYZEL

Lindsey is currently working to distribute THE RELUCTANT RADICAL, her feature length documentary which follows climate activist Ken Ward as he puts himself in the direct path of the fossil fuel industry. She is also in pre-production on an audio documentary about use of the necessity defense by climate activists in court. Lindsey began her career as an editor in 1994, then made the transition to producing and directing in 1999. Her passion for documentary stories has led her to a successful freelance career producing documentary and educational videos for non-profit organizations, local and state governments, and museums. Recent projects include films for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, The Dougy Center, Kenai Fjords National Park and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Whether she is working for a client or pursuing an independent project, Lindsey is thrilled to be dedicating her storytelling talents on projects she feels make a positive impact in the world.

CO-PRODUCER: DEIA SCHLOSBERG

Deia runs Pale Blue Dot Media, a production company based in Harlem, NY. Deia is currently directing a documentary series called BOOTSTRAPS, which follows 12 American stories through the lens of universal basic income (UBI). She also produced Josh Fox's HOW TO LET GO OF THE WORLD AND LOVE ALL THE THINGS CLIMATE CAN'T CHANGE (2016), which premiered at Sundance and broadcasts on HBO, and co-produced AWAKE: A DREAM FROM STANDING ROCK (2017), which premiered at Tribeca and is streaming on Netflix. Deia earned an MFA in Science & Natural History Filmmaking at Montana State University in Bozeman, where she produced and directed BACKYARD, which looks at the human cost of fracking. The film won two student Emmys (Best Documentary, & the Bricker Humanitarian Award). Deia also co-produced and directed COLD LOVE, a look at one explorer's 25-plus-year career of exploring the world's coldest places and the climate change impacts that he's witnessed first-hand by doing so.

Deia's background is in environmental education and visual arts, as well as expeditioning, having been awarded a 2009 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year award for a two-year, 7800-mile through-hike of the Andes Mountains.

 
 

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climate activist Ken Ward