MOVIES Film­maker takes rad­i­cal ac­tion

The Georgia Straight - - Movies - By

AA­drian Mack

s he re­veals in a pre­am­ble to his film The Rad­i­cals, di­rected with Brian Hock­en­stein, Tamo Cam­pos was a mere 10 months old when he went on his first tour of the back­coun­try.

“Be­cause of my par­ents,” says the pro­fes­sional snow­boarder, “I didn’t have a choice. I was go­ing to be a ski bum.”

As you might ex­pect, glo­ri­ous ac­tion footage of Cam­pos hurtling down the side of vast moun­tains en­sues. But The Rad­i­cals has big­ger con­cerns. For the next 60 min­utes of the film, we see Cam­pos and his part­ners in the non­profit Be­yond Board­ing en­gaged in what he calls “our re­spon­si­bil­ity to the moun­tains”.

The Rad­i­cals.

“The idea, ba­si­cally, is that we wanted to chal­lenge the com­mu­nity about their re­la­tion­ship with the out­doors,” Cam­pos says, call­ing the Ge­or­gia Straight from Toronto, where he’s been screen­ing the film for high-school stu­dents. And so The Rad­i­cals visits four sites of re­sis­tance. Tour­ing B.C. with surfer Jasper Snow Rosen in a van pow­ered by waste veg­etable oil, Cam­pos is along­side when com­mu­nity mem­bers con­front the min­ing com­pany that would turn Iskut in north­west­ern B.C. into a toxic tail­ings pond. Later, the duo joins Indige­nous lo­cals in a stand­off with in­dus­trial salmon farm­ers in the Broughton Ar­chi­pel­ago.

An­other mem­ber of Be­yond Board­ing, Marie-france Roy, trav­els to the Bridge River Val­ley to learn about the dire im­pact of B.C. Hy­dro’s Terza­ghi and La­joie dams and the ef­forts be­ing made to re­store salmon-rear­ing habi­tats. In Haida Gwaii, re­tired snow­boarder Meghan O’brien rein­vents her­self as a Haida and Kwak­waka’wakw weaver.

“In the be­gin­ning of the film,” Cam­pos ex­plains, “we’re heal­ing the land; in the mid­dle, we’re stand­ing up for it; and at the end, we’re talk­ing about this dif­fer­ent con­nec­tion that we can have with the land through art and show­ing that re­sis­tance isn’t only done to pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment but also to pro­tect cul­ture.”

The up­beat snow­boarder/film­maker is happy to re­port that those school kids in Toronto got the mes­sage—to his de­light, one of them handed Cam­pos a note that read: “I love this film; it had in­for­ma­tion like other doc­u­men­taries but wasn’t quite as bor­ing”—and even hap­pier to mea­sure his own learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ences.

“I’ve been able to work with these in­cred­i­ble, small, re­mote com­mu­ni­ties that have dealt with so much yet they’re still stand­ing up; they’re still show­ing the world a dif­fer­ent re­la­tion­ship we can have with place and they’re also win­ning, ya know? In a few short years, I’ve seen a small group kick out an LNG plant on the Skeena; I’ve seen elders kick out a cop­per mine up in Iskut; and the mo­men­tum over those fish farms is huge right now.”

Q.

Has your mu­sic come nat­u­rally?

A. “I re­mem­ber my piano teacher telling my mom ‘Arthur is only eight years old, and he’s al­ready in 8th grade in terms of mu­sic com­pre­hen­sion.’”

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