Nancy Kelly (shown far left), director/writer/producer, and Kenji Yamamoto (near left), film editor and producer, Rebels With a Cause proves a fascinating time capsule of how conservationists, concerned citizens and elected officials helped projects like this one come into being nearly a half century ago. This was during a time when, as one interviewee notes, "Conservationists were the next step below Communists." It was also happening as one power-ful elected official (Republican, or maybe "Southern Democrat," as they were known at that time) maintained, "There will be not one penny spent for 'scenery'." Yes, there were bullies and blowhards back then, too, yet the cooperation between the two political parties shown here should bring an "if-only" tear to your eye.
Clem Miller (at right), a fellow I knew nothing of, even though I grew up in California, so I am happy to have made his acquaintance here. After his untimely death, his widow, Kathy Miller Johnson (below), carried on his work, achieving excellent results.
Stewart Udall (shown below), Secretary of the Interior from 1961 to 1969. The film allows us to see how and why certain farmers who initially were against the idea eventually came around to supporting it. When things suddenly grew dire in the 1970s, no less than a surprise than President Richard Nixon ended up supporting the plan.
Frances McDormand) lets us see what might have happened -- the ghastly Marincello Development -- had concerned citizens and elected officials not stepped in to stop it, and also how the first land trust for farmers came about in this county. Most of all it demonstrates how a movement this powerful began on a citizen level rather than on an "elected" level -- and still achieved its goal.
here on the film's web site to learn where else you can view it, but remember that the site doesn't post showings until two weeks previous to the time of its debut.