“National parks are the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst.”  -Wallace Stegner

I spent much of my life making films that celebrate the beauty, wonder and exceptionalism of National Parks. In GREEN RECKONING, I sift through forgotten and concealed histories to reveal painful truths of genocide, white supremacy, and violent dispossession – truths which challenge the mythology of “America’s best idea.”

GREEN RECKONING traces my personal journey that began in Yosemite where I made my first film in 1970 and presents the evolution of my thinking and filmmaking about national parks, preservation, and environmental history. The film presents a postmortem on the mythology of the National Idea and the inherent contradiction within the concept of ‘wilderness’ — as in pristine nature without people.

My goal is to shift the perspective from the monumental scenery that national parks protect, to the cultural universe buried in almost every national park across the West; a constellation of Native People, tradition and sacred spirit that reaches back across 200 generations — at least 7,000 years.

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