Dairy lovers beware! 

Light-hearted activist documentary to wrap up Reel Alternatives summer series


What: Reel Alternatives, Go Further

Where: Lost Lake Park

When: Wednesday, Aug. 25

Tickets: $8 for adults, kids under 12 free

The Whistler Film Festival’s Reel Alternatives outdoor film series will wrap up at Lost Lake on Wednesday, Aug. 25 with a screening of Ron Mann’s documentary Go Further .

A word to the wise: if you go, don’t bring dairy.

A hit at last year’s Whistler Film Festival, the documentary chronicles the journey of actor/activist Woody Harrelson as he and his friends make their way from Seattle to Santa Barbara by bike and hemp-fueled bus.

On board are an eclectic cast of characters, including a yoga instructor, a hemp activist and a raw food chef who dreams about sweet avocado-chocolate mousse pie.

Harrelson is the only big time celebrity, but the film is not just about him. Indeed, Harrelson’s journey pales in comparison to that of show-stealer Steve Clark, a self-proclaimed junk-food addict who in all likelihood joined the group to hang with Woody, not to learn how to live organically.

In the interest of making conversation, one night early in the journey Clark, a meat-loving Virginian, prods Harrelson about his diet:

"So you don’t eat dairy or cheese or milk?" Clark asks innocently.

"Do you know what’s in dairy?" Harrelson replies.

"Vitamin D?" Clark answers, happy he knows his vitamins.

"Blood and pus," Harrelson corrects him.

Harrelson proceeds to tell him that Monsanto’s bovine growth hormone causes cow’s udders to become so big that the udders are irritated and as a result cows secrete blood and pus into their milk.

Clark, sounding defeated (and disgusted), can only respond by asking half-heartedly if that also counts for his chocolate milkshake.

Throughout the rest of the film, Clark tells everyone he encounters about his dairy discovery. In one scene he even talks to a group of cows.

"On the count of three, say soy!" he instructs them using a speakerphone, to which they respond with a "moo."

By the end of the journey, Clark and the others have not only learned about dairy, but about yoga, organic farming, tree-free paper, solar energy, earthworms and more. What they lose in excess pounds they gain in understanding and self-awareness, concluding that the transformation of the planet can only begin with the transformation of the self. After that, they realise, we’ll go further.

Yes it is a film of issues. Yes, the cast is on a mission to change the world, but the humour and innate wackiness of characters like Clark keeps it from being too preachy.

The movie is worth seeing for its ability to get you out of the bubble for a while. Who knows, maybe after seeing it you’ll undergo a transformation of your own.

Go Further is the last of the Whistler Film Festival’s summer Reel Alternatives screenings. The event begins at 8 p.m. with food vendors and folk music by the Rutherford Creek Trio. The film starts after dark, at approximately 10 p.m. There is no organized seating so viewers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets and wear appropriate clothing.

Tickets are $8, with kids under 12 years old free. Limited parking is available on site. WAVE will also run a shuttle before and after the event from the Gondola Transit Exchange in Whistler Village for 50 cents each way.

The event will be cancelled or moved in the event of bad weather.

Call the Festival office at 604-938-3323 for updates.


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