Climate Story Lab

NECESSITY

LOGLINE 

In a climate emergency, is civil disobedience a necessity? Grounded in people and places at the heart of the climate crisis, NECESSITY traces the legal fight in Minnesota against the expansion of pipelines carrying toxic tar sands oil through critical waterways in North America.

Jan Haaken

Director

Samantha Praus

Director

SYNOPSIS 

Grounded in people and places at the heart of the climate crisis, NECESSITY traces the fight in Minnesota against the expansion of pipelines carrying toxic tar sands oil through critical waterways in North America. The story unfolds in a setting where indigenous activists and non-indigenous allies enlist the necessity defense in making a moral case for acts of civil disobedience. Water Protectors guides us through areas where pipelines cross tribal lands and where native resistance is mounting. Many of these activists were part of the Standing Rock resistance in North Dakota. Others acted in solidarity with Standing Rock, including the “Valve Turners” who prepare for a landmark jury trial in Minnesota after temporarily shutting down the flow of tar sands oil as part of a multi-state coordinated action. Movement lawyers defending activists in court must prove that the threat of the climate emergency justified acts of civil disobedience and that there were no legal alternatives. The film becomes the stage for the very jury trial that is unexpectedly cut short.

 

NECESSITY trailer

https://vimeo.com/297226350



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