“Spend enough time in Blockadia and you start to notice patterns,” writes Naomi Klein in This Changes Everything, her 2014 tome pitting capitalism against the climate. Blockadia is the name given to the frontline, direct-action response to extractive industries. The patterns? A steely commitment to the land. Indigenous, often female, leadership. The notion that “you can’t eat money.”

This Changes Everything — the book, that is — is only half of the story. October brings the second half to the United States: the documentary version, narrated by Klein and directed by Avi Lewis. In the clip above, we see glimpses of the Blockadian front lines. “The idea behind it is simple,” narrates Klein. “We’re in a hole, and before anything new can grow, we have to stop digging.”

Grist spoke with Lewis, for whom the idea of “Blockadia embodies the new spirit of energetic direct action, where people are putting their bodies on the line against extractive projects.” (We’ll have the rest of the interview for you on Friday.) But the notion of Blockadia, Lewis cautions, is about more than disruption and protest. “If you spend time in Blockadia,” he says, “you see that people are working on solutions, too.” Lewis continues:

In Canada, what that looks like is First Nation’s people leading the fight against tar sands and tar sands pipelines and coal export terminals and fracking in the northwest of British Columbia.

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The Idle No More movement … was this wake-up call for Canadians — and I think, for a lot of Americans, too, because the movement reached down into the States — that indigenous land rights are actually the best hope for all of us to keep carbon in the ground.


This Changes Everything premieres in New York on October 2, in Los Angeles on October 16, and in more than 30 cities across the United States (and iTunes!) on October 20. On the same day, groups will be able to begin to book community screenings of the film. Check out the trailer below.

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