Paris Environmental Festival

President Bill Clinton and Robert Reich
President Bill Clinton and Robert Reich

31st International Film Festival for the Environment


by Jane Rosenstein


(Paris, France) – In France many people are interested in environmental issues.  The 31st International FilmFestival of the Environment February 4- 11, 2014, Paris France was informative and interesting. I saw two films and attended a seminar at a local movie theater.  Le Conseil Régional de l’Ile de France and other partners financed the film festival making it free for the attendees.  The film festival featured over 100 movies  many in various competitions in 11 theaters.

 “Three Letters from China” produced by a Swiss producer, Luc Schaedier, was the first film I saw.  We were intruiged by the lives of the Chinese in three cities, particularly the problems encountered by the families.  The three short  films were about the dilemmas faced in the present and in the future. The programs about polution and destructions of older buildings  were interesting for us. Here in France we value old buildings and are more concerned with pollution than the  Chinese.

After watching the film in Chinese with French subtitles, we had the opportunity to have a discussion with the producer. Luc told us that he and a friend visited China for the interviews and filming and chose these people because they felt the closest to them.  The last film was about a young girl who chose to leave her parents and live independently which is not the usual case for young adults, particularly under twenty-one.  Luc told me that he distributes the film in Switzerland but would like to expand to other markets.

In January, 2015 all the movie cinemas in France open to the public will  be equipped for the hard of hearing and visually impaired.  I attended a discussion with a panel where there were sign language interpreters.  .  The low vision people will benefit from audio descriptions in French  for French and foreign language films and people hard of hearing will benefit from subtitles  in French from special glasses or on screen.

Robert Reich lecturing  Photo Credit Dan Krauss
Robert Reich lecturing a university class
Photo Credit Dan Krauss

 “Inequality for All” a film directed  by Jacob Kornbluth  featuring Robert Reich, former secretary of labour under Clinton,  was an interesting documentary.  Robert Reich  told us that most of the parts in Iphones are not produced in USA nor China but in Germany.  He showed us that a small percentage of the US population has most of the weath.  In the 1970s the politicans were against the unions and the companies lowered the salaries of the workers. Therefore ,workers had to work more hours or take on more jobs just to get by.

Unemployment was created by factories using robots. Robert Reich interviewed both the rich and the middle class. One lady told us that she had less than $100 in her bank account even though she worked. Some people had no health insurance. The rich continued to accumulate wealth while the middle class became poorer. The movie was a good lesson in economy. It is being shown in USA and  is well worth seeing.

The film festival was very informative and interesting.

Author Details
Jane Rosenstein is a U.S. citizen living in Paris, France. She is a professional translator/interpreter. She is the owner of The International Connection which does international marketing consultation including sales of wine, interpretation, and translation. She enjoys the cultural life that living in Paris offers and has talents in organizing events. She speaks English, French, and Spanish. She has a B.S. degree in mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh and an M.B.A. degree from Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA.
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