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Eco-Films: Stars Come Out for the Earth

Boldface names report on the environment for a new cable series

Photos courtesy of The Years Project/SHOWTIME

Everyone loves a good story, so this month, the cable network Showtime has put some of the best movie makers from Hollywood—James Cameron, Jerry Weintraub—together with equally big-name actors—Matt Damon, Harrison Ford, Jessica Alba, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and others—to tell the real-life tale about changes in the earth’s climate, and how these changes are affecting people around the world.

Years of Living Dangerously, which premieres on Sunday, April 13, at 10pm, will run for four consecutive Sundays until May 4, followed by five episodes broadcast on Mondays, from May 12 through June 9 at 8pm.Years of Living Dangerously

A project that was three years in the making, Years was spearheaded by 60 Minutes producer, David Gelber and Joel Bach, who brought in high-power movie names, including James Cameron (Titanic, Inception) who saw the value of bringing viewers in touch with ordinary people in places as far-flung as metro area New York, Borneo, and Idaho. There’s some convincing evidence that climate affects not only weather, but our supply of food, water, shelter, and public health.

“Everyone thinks that this is about melting glaciers and polar bears…I think that’s a big mistake. This is 100 percent a people story,” says Cameron.

While the reality of changing climate has its naysayers, the process of examining evidence in real time, around the world, including its effect on people and their livelihoods, as well as ecosystems, is made dramatic by incredible camera work, and reporting by famous faces. You will see “Terminator” Arnold Schwarzenegger, on the ground in Idaho with a crack team of firefighters trained in wildfire containment; they’re known as the Hot Shots, and the footage depicts the vast areas that are now being consumed annually by fire. Says Arnold,

“It is hard for me to imagine half the trees in the American West gone in the next few decades, and it’s scarier still to realize that the more trees we lose, the faster global warming will speed up. “

For a preview, watch the trailer below. And for those who don’t subscribe to Showtime, segments of the film will be broadcast on the Years website.


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