Film Screening & Discussion— If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front

March 17, 2012 - 12:30am to 3:15am

DOC Talks! A Monthly Documentary Event

DOC Talks is our new monthly screening event.  But itʼs more than just a screening!

We are partnering with the wonderful Metro Cinema to bring you an engaging evening full of documentary, drinks and discussion. Hereʼs how itʼs going to go down: 

6:30-7:00: Drinks and mingling 


Bring your drinks (yes that means beer & wine too!) into the theatre for the Opening Night Screening of If A Tree Falls: The Story of the Earth Liberation Front

8:40-9:15:  Interactive discussion lead by environmental activist, Brian Staszenski 

Price: $10 regular Metro Cinema admission, $8 for DOC Members 

About the Film

In December 2005, Daniel McGowan was arrested by Federal agents in a nationwide sweep of radical environmentalists involved with the Earth Liberation Front-- a group the FBI has called America's "number one domestic terrorism threat." With the arrest of Daniel and thirteen others, the government had cracked what was probably the largest ELF cell in America and brought down the group responsible for the very first ELF arsons in this country. 

If a Tree Falls tells the remarkable story of the rise and fall of this ELF cell, by focusing on the transformation and radicalization of one of its members. Part coming-of-age tale, part cops-and-robbers thrilller, the film interweaves a verite chronicle of Daniel on house arrest as he faces life in prison, with a dramatic recounting of the events that led to his involvement with the group. And along the way it asks hard questions about environmentalism, activism, and the way we define terrorism. 

If a Tree Falls explores the tumultuous period from 1995 until early 2001 when environmentalists were clashing with timber companies and law enforcement, and the word "terrorism" had not yet been altered by 9/11. 

If a Tree Falls was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 2012 Academy Awards. 

About Brian Staszenski

Brian is an authority on environment resource efficiency and management, specializing in assisting community and institutional organizations on this matter. As a student of the University of Alberta and the University of Edinburgh, he completed a Masterʼs Degree in Community Development and an undergraduate degree in Recreation Administration.

His formal employment has spanned from working as an urban planner for over 5 years with the Edmonton Regional Planning Commission to managing several service related community organizations in North America for over forty years. 

Brian was named Time Magazine Hero for the Planet in 2000 for his work in energy conservation and efficiency. 

He has worked on environmental activism since the late 1970's, fighting coal fired City of Edmonton owned power plants west of Edmonton. The City is currently trying to expand the mine for the plants by 32 quarter sections, without a public hearing. 

He has brought the Ruckus Society into Alberta to train activists in peaceful non violent civil disobedience and in 2007 hosted an international training camp on his ranch. This camp was instrumental in bringing Greenpeace, Rainforest Action Network, Earth First to Alberta.


Metro Cinema (Garneau Theatre)
8712 109 Street
Edmonton , AB