Eco-disasters such as coal-mining accidents, oil spills, and
food-borne diseases appear regularly in the news, making them seem
nearly commonplace. These ecological crises highlight the continual
tensions between human needs and the environmental impact these
needs produce. Contemporary documentaries and feature films explore
environmental-human conflicts by depicting the consequences of our
overconsumption and dependence on nonrenewable energy.
"Film and Everyday Eco-disasters" examines changing perspectives
toward everyday eco-disasters as reflected in the work of
filmmakers from the silent era forward, with an emphasis on recent
films such as "Dead Ahead," an HBO dramatization of the Exxon
Valdez disaster; "Total Recall," a science fiction action film
highlighting oxygen as a commodity; "The Devil Wears Prada," a
comment on the fashion industry; and "Food, Inc.", a documentary
interrogation of the food industry. The authors evaluate not only
the success of these films as rhetorical arguments but also their
rhetorical strategies. This interdisciplinary approach to film
studies fuses cultural, economic, and literary critiques in
articulating an approach to ecology that points to sustainable
development as an alternative to resource exploitations and their
associated everyday eco-disasters.
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