The Solar Film
This vintage original movie poster is for The Solar Film. This is the single image version
"The world is becoming more and more complex and bewildering... the more complex things become, the more we become accustomed to the idea that massive problems require massive high-tech solutions. Solar energy is a low-tech decentralized solution. One of those simple answers."
The Solar Film began when Consumer Action Now (founded by Ilene Goldman and Lola Redford) decided to make a film to publicize solar energy. Executive producer Robert Redford (who a few years later would invite Saul to be a Founding Trustee of his Sundance Institute) asked Saul and Elaine to join the team. Robert Redford explained, "We wanted to do what the administration had not been able to do, that is create an awareness that there are other alternatives before the American public."
Saul noted: "We all agreed that the film had to reach a mass audience and play in theaters on the big screen. With Redford's help, it seemed possible to achieve this. To make this feasible, the film had to be very short. One reel. 10 minutes. No charts, graphs or statistics. Entertaining."
The first part of the film deals with the sun's impact on the creation of life and civilization represented in simple, allusive photography of sea and sky, plants and hieroglyphs. The film then shifts to a zany, breakneck cartoon that sums up the exploitation of fossil fuels.
In the final section of the film, overlapping voices of different ages and origins describe the feel of the sun on the skin, the smell of fresh clothes from the line, finding a house with a southern exposure, and then transition into a discussion about the effectiveness of contemporary solar technology. Each section of the movie makes its point effectively, but viewers also absorb a wider message about the power of the sun.
"Never was so much urgent information communicated so painlessly," commented one viewer.
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