This OnEarth story was written by Bruce Barcott.
In a creaky wood-floor office overlooking San Francisco Bay, the documentary filmmaker Mark Kitchell removes his glasses, runs his hand through his hair, and glares at a computer screen filled with thumbnail images of film clips. Kitchell, 59, is in the throes of a dilemma. He’s spent the past 10 years making A Fierce Green Fire, an epic documentary about the 50-year evolution of the modern environmental movement. He has two hours and 12 minutes in the can. And it’s good. “The material is vast, and it’s an incredibly dynamic film,” says Cara Mertes, head of the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program, who has seen a rough cut. “It’s shaping up to be the documentary of record on the environmental movement. I think it’ll be hugely successful.” So Kitchell has buzz. What he doesn’t have is an ending. On this beautiful spring day, with a breeze blowing in from the bay, Kitchell is forced to confront his film’s ultimate question: What does the environmental ... Read more