Directed by: Issac Goeckeritz, María Valeria Berros, Hal Crimmel
Released: 2019 (educational)
Year of Production: 2018
Running Time: 52 min
Subtitle Options: English Closed Captions
Subjects: Environmental Studies
Western views and the legal system tend to view nature as property, and as a resource from which wealth is extracted, a commodity whose only value is to provide for human needs. But for millennia indigenous communities have viewed themselves as part of nature.
As pressures on ecosystems mount and as conventional laws seem increasingly inadequate to address environmental degradation, communities, cities, regions and countries around the world are turning to a new legal strategy known as The Rights of Nature. This film takes viewers on a journey that explores the more recent origins of this legal concept, and its application and implementation in Ecuador, New Zealand, and the United States. Learn how constitutional reforms adopted in Ecuador have helped recognize nature as a legal entity, and how partnerships between the Māori and the government of New Zealand have led to personhood status for rivers, lakes and forests, and a renewed sense of balance between people and nature. See how the Rights of Nature function in the urban setting of Santa Monica, California.
The film explores the successes and challenges inherent in creating new legal structures that have the potential to maintain and restore ecosystems while achieving a balance between humans and nature.
Official MUBI selection and 2019 DOCUtah Selection
"Rights of Nature" is not only a Tour d'Horizon, but also a precise inventory of a highly exciting environmental movement with its challenges, opportunities and first successes. – Jan Sebening
About the filmmakers
María Valeria Berros is a junior professor and researcher at the National University of the Littoral and the National Council of Scientific and Technical Research in Santa Fe City, Argentina. She completed her doctoral degree in law with a focus on the sciology of law at the National University of the Littoral. Her work deals with the intersection between environmental law, sociology of risk, and social sciences studies, and she has participated inresearch projects at Sorbonne University, the School for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences (EHESS) in Paris, Limoges University, and Nantes University. Her current research focuses on law, environmental ethics, and social movements in Latin America. She analyzes the processes by which non-anthropocentric ethics are incorporated into legal structures in different countries in Latin America.
Documentary filmmaker Issac Goeckeritz began producing programs with KUED in 2007. His films have included Temple Square, Brigham Street: Salt Lake City’s Grand Boulevard, Ogden: Junction City of the West and Street Vets, for which he was awarded a PBS Emmy.