‘Disobedience’ film documents community, coal and climate change


Isabelle Tavares

Imagine this: an entire solar powered village in Proschim, Germany was subject to demolition because of its foundations on rich coal, as shown in the screening of the documentary “Disobedience.” The profit-driven extraction was not stopped despite the protests of individuals in the community. But when the masses protested against another coal mine, also in Germany, they were able to shut the polluting mine down.

“If you’re trying to address a collective problem with an individual response, you’re going to be out-financed and outsourced. When you take collective action as a response, you can win,” said Nathan Frischkorn, a senior sociology, environmental studies and sustainability major and the vice president of Gamma Theta Upsilon (GTU).

For the fourth consecutive year, the international geographical honor society GTU organized Anderton’s Earth Week, a five-day celebration of the Earth in memory of the late NMU professor John Anderton.

A few NMU students, one professor and five of Anderton’s family members populated a room in Jamrich for the showing of “Disobedience,” a 41-minute film showcasing how reckless industrialization has contributed to climate change, as well as the surging global resistance against it.

“We need to get over the individualism that is so prevalent in our society, and start thinking and acting collectively,” Frischkorn said.

One of the students at the event, Biidaaban Reinhardt, post baccalaureate with physics and Native American studies, said plants are good, but she was more interested in the environmental justice aspect of the film.

Due to a raging snowstorm, most of the Earth Week events were cancelled. For the remaining events, Andertons Earth Week celebrated with a trivia night, a career discussion panel and a speaker from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.