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Beginning in the 1950s, a national movement was born of principles that may seem obvious today. Unconvinced by land developers who promoted residential construction as unmitigated progress, citizens began banding together to preserve open spaces near where they lived. A stunningly beautiful new film narrated by Frances McDormand, REBELS WITH A CAUSE is filmmakers Nancy Kelly and Kenji Yamamoto's retelling of the story of the schemers and dreamers who fought to keep developers from taking over the breathtaking landscape of Point Reyes National Seashore and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, two national parks north of San Francisco.
In the early 20th century, many stood with Speaker of the House Joe Cannon, who opposed taxpayer support of private land acquisition to benefit national parks ("Not a cent for scenery!"). But Clem Miller, California Congressman from 1958-62, emerged as the forward-looking patron saint of the movement. Miller's vision included the continuation of historic ranching along with the preservation of grasslands and open scenic vistas. REBELS WITH A CAUSE describes in fascinating detail how dedicated conservationists raised Californians' awareness of their power to promote change.
REBELS received the 2012 Mill Valley Film Festival Audience Favorite Award for Best Documentary - Active Cinema.