AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL 2012
By Caitlyn Collins | October 23, 2012
Directors: Emmanuel Vaughn-Lee, Gayatri Roshan
Writer: Gayatri Roshan
Starring: Rajendra Singh, Eriel Deranger, Jay Harmon
Sometimes all a revolution needs is the perseverance of one person to begin. Elemental follows three environmental crusaders aiming to drastically change the world around them. Directed by Emmanuel Vaughn-Lee and Gayatri Roshan, Elemental begins in India where millions of people rely on the Ganges River. The once pristine river, however, has been filled with pollutants and factory run-off for many years and as a result is dead or near death in many places. Yet, the Ganges continues to be used for bathing and clothes washing as well as a toxic dumping ground. Rajendra Singh is making it his mission to do something about the state of the Ganges after having successfully revived several smaller rivers.
Eriel Deranger — a protestor for indigenous rights in Alberta, Canada — is crusading against the Tar Sands pipeline that would travel from Northern Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Eriel works tirelessly and aggressively against the project while juggling her home life and her second pregnancy.
In Australia, Jay Harmon has always felt more connected to nature than the people who occupy it. By studying biology, Harmon has come up with technologies that work to clean the atmosphere of its pollutants. All he and his wife need are investors to put the technology on the market.
The weaving in and out of the three stories makes it difficult to really get to know either protagonist as the film moves a bit too quickly at times. The three are also not connected in anyway nor is there an explanation of why these particular stories were chosen for the film. Regardless, Elemental is an inspirational film. It provides enough information about the actions of Rajendra, Eriel, and Jay and how they will never give up the fight to clean up the world around them.