Add to Queue: Take One Action’s Films of Resistance

A selection of curated media lists from our global community
words – take one action
location – edinburgh, scotland

Take One Action brings communities together to harness the transformative potential of film and storytelling for collective change. Established in 2008 in Scotland, we bridge the space between film and social action to build power, imagination and active hope in Scotland and beyond. 

We aim to follow author and educator Toni Cade Bambara’s call that “the role of the artist is to make the revolution irresistible” – centreing stories from people who are affected by oppressive systems and growing new worlds, and collaborating to create playful and radical encounters with film and art that inspire people to take action for a better future.

Climate justice and storytelling has always underpinned our work at Take One Action. Over the years, we’ve had the privilege to share some incredible climate stories centreing Indigenous perspectives from around the world – in recognition that there can be no climate justice without land back, and that we must be active participants in global solidarity with all fights for Indigenous justice and decolonisation across the globe. From occupied Palestine to the Brazilian Amazon, the following films are expansive calls to listen to Indigenous communities as they imagine a world beyond and in spite of colonialism and fossil fuel capitalism; where resistance, like the unruly earth, grows through gaps in concrete.

01_‘The Last Forest’ directed by Luiz Bolognesi

Co-scripted by Yanomami shaman Davi Kopenawa Yanomami, ‘The Last Forest’ is a mesmerising journey into the heart of the Brazilian Amazon. Weaving between observational footage and dreamlike staged sequences, it explores the Yanomami people’s creation myths, relationship to the natural world, and ongoing struggle to protect their land after centuries of ongoing violence at the hands of white colonisers: from missionaries and gold miners to present-day environmental and political threats facing Indigenous peoples in Brazil. A striking, utterly immersive cinematic homage to the strength of a community honouring its traditions and standing up for its existence.

 

02_‘Call Me Human’ directed by Kim O’Bomsawin

‘Call Me Human’ is a loving portrait of Joséphine Bacon: a Innu storyteller, teacher and poet who has devoted over 70 years of her life to honouring the interconnected legacies of land and language bestowed upon her by her ancestors. From the snowy streets of Montréal to the land of Bacon’s elders, this beautifully affectionate film takes viewers on a journey to illuminate a language, culture and identity that colonialism attempted to wipe out. “There is no Innu word for ‘poetry,’” Bacon says. “I don’t think we needed one: we were poets simply by living in harmony with the water and the land.”

 

03_‘Uýra: The Rising Forest’ directed by Juliana Curi

The art of resistance lives and breathes – colourful, striking, riveting – through Uýra, a trans and Indigenous performance activist. Travelling through the Brazilian Amazon, Uýra imparts the Indigenous youth she meets with the power to embrace how their queerness, Indigenous ancestry and deep connection with the forest all intertwine – disseminating “technologies of survival and care” that are exchanged between people and forest. In the deadliest country in the world for environmental activists, trans and Indigenous people, Uýra plants the seeds of both fury and hope – charting how Indigenous storytelling, and the memorialisation of lineages of both great violence and resistance, becomes a weapon against colonial erasure in times of planetary crisis. Like Uýra says, “The impossible is coming. The unimaginable is due.”

 

04_‘Foragers’ directed by Jumana Manna

In historical Palestine, foraging for wild ‘akkoub and za’atar – traditional foods that Palestinians have gathered from the land for generations – is punishable by fines and imprisonment meted out by the Israeli Parks and Nature Authority. Threading together fiction, documentary, and archival footage, ‘Foragers’ reveals how Israeli legislation in the name of “natural conservation” constitutes yet another means of disavowing Palestinian indigeneity to the lands Israel occupies – and of deciding which lives, human or plant, are worthy of protection. Spellbinding and utterly transportative, ‘Foragers’ examines food as a living terrain for the omnipresence of settler colonial violence in occupied Palestine, but also unassailable Palestinian resistance.

 

05_‘The Last Ice’ directed by Scott Ressler

To oil and gas companies, shipping tycoons, and tourism and fishing industries, the melting of the sea ice between Canada and Greenland due to climate change is only rife with business opportunity. Yet for the more than 100,000 Inuit who live in the Arctic, climate change and the capitalist vultures descending in its wake pose an existential threat to the Inuit people’s centuries-old way of life as hunter-gatherers living on the frozen ocean. The wounds inflicted on the Inuit by centuries of violent colonisation remain unhealed, yet they find themselves faced with a new kind of globalised, opportunistic exploitation. ‘The Last Ice’ shares the story of Inuit communities in Canada and Greenland fighting to protect their rapidly disappearing home – and the fragile balance between people, wildlife and ocean.


06_‘Fractured Land’ directed by Fiona Rayher and Damien Gillis

From an early age, First Nations leader and law student Caleb Behn witnessed the devastating environmental impact of fossil fuel extraction. The advent of fracking dramatically worsened the destruction wreaked on his people’s land in the wilds of Northern Canada, with trillions of litres of water taken from the rivers –  Indigenous communities’ lifeblood – polluted, and pumped underground. Blending breathtaking cinematography of Northern British Columbia with candid interviews, ‘Fractured Land’ follows Caleb as he learns that if he wants to save what he values most, he must leave it behind. Arming himself not with hunting gear but with degrees in law and political science, he embarks upon a new journey: to represent his people in the centuries-long battle to protect their land and the very core of their culture.

A note: Each month, we update our site as part of our efforts to reduce the environmental impact of our digital estate. The global emissions from the digital industry are on a par with those from the aviation industry, at almost 2% of total global emissions. What’s worse, this is increasing year on year. In an effort to lessen our impact, each month we compress and archive previous features and update our site with new content. Throughout the month, our current features are available to all to enjoy; our full digital archive is accessible to boom saloon members, in thanks for their support to use creativity to inspire and empower those facing challenges. Support our work and become a member by clicking here.