CSW Observes Earth Day with Filmmaker Deia Scholosberg
In celebration of Earth Day, CSW welcomed documentary filmmaker and producer Deia Schlosberg to speak to the community during assembly. Deia has worked on a number of important film projects related to climate change and climate justice, including How to Let Go of the World (2016, Sundance/HBO), Awake, a Dream from Standing Rock (2017, Tribecca/Netflix), and The Reluctant Radical (2019, PBS, dir. Lindsey Grayzel). Her directorial debut, The Story of Plastic (2019, Mill Valley/Discovery) won an Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Documentary in 2021.
Deia was introduced by the leaders of CSW’s Sustainability Committee, Coco Wu ’23 and Eli Burger ’23. She began by giving a short history of her background and how she got into documentary film work, specifically in the field of climate activism. “Storytelling is how we make sense of the world,” she said, going on to describe the importance of asking the questions of who gets to tell which stories and why.
In her talk, Deia used the story of her documentary, The Story of Plastic, to show how film can effect change. In the film, Deia and her team show the lifecycle of plastic, revealing how historically, more emphasis has been placed on what happens to plastic after it is created and consumed, rather than on how and why it is manufactured in the first place. She then debunked three common myths about the problem of plastic: 1. It’s the consumer’s fault; 2. It’s Asia’s fault; and 3. Recycling is the answer.
At the end of her talk, before taking questions from the audience, Deia left the CSW community with this advice: “Keep questioning, keep challenging, and keep believing that you really do matter.”