St. John Film Society Presents “Rebels with a Cause” February 3


St. John Film Society (SJFS) is pleased to announce a very special screening of “Rebels with a Cause” on February 3 at 7:30 p.m. at St John School of the Arts, Cruz Bay. Filmmakers Nancy Kelly and Kenji Yamamoto will be present for the screening along with other Virgin Islands to discuss events currently taking place on St. John similar to those in the film.

“Rebels with a Cause” explores how a handful of politically savvy activists fought to protect San Francisco’s Point Reyes National Seashore and Golden Gate National Recreation Area from the threat of sprawl and over-development at a time when California was the nation’s fastest-growing state. Their efforts set new precedents for protecting open space and helped shape the environmental movement as we know it today.

Beginning in the 1950s, a national movement was born of principles that may seem obvious today. Unconvinced by land developers who promoted residential construction as unmitigated progress, citizens began banding together to preserve open spaces near urban areas for parks and farms — and took the fight all the way to the White House. Deeply mired in an expensive war in Vietnam, Nixon determined that even if the Congress had appropriated the money, the Park Service would not get it. But petitions soon began arriving in Washington and

Nixon knew the power of public opinion and the voices of the country’s nascent environmental movement were gaining traction.

“Rebels with a Cause” is the story of a regional California effort that grew into an astonishing system of fourteen National Seashores — the result of garden clubs, ranchers, farmers, conservationists, politicians from both parties, widows, and volunteers working together through compromise and negotiation, with the American public coming up as the winner. It’s a fascinating example of a hard fought campaign to preserve something important to all of us — our public land. And it is a powerful tool to illustrate that the personal is political, and the local is global. Rebels is a feel-good cinematic experience that conveys an inspiring truth about how ordinary individuals have the power to change the rules.

This film is timely as it reflect some of the same issues facing Coral Bay where a large marina development project is proposed for the pristine bay on the East End of St. John.

The proposed marina would be destructive to federally listed endangered sea turtle habitat, endangered coral species, and a prime nursery for lemon and black tip sharks. A grass-roots movement has quickly drawn support from hundreds of people inside and outside of the Virgin Islands opposing this development. “Rebels with a Cause” reflects a similar issue faced by the residents of Marin County in California.

Kelly and Yamamoto will visit St. John for the screening thanks to On Screen/In Person which is made possible by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation through the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Regional Touring Program. Representatives from the Save Coral Bay group will be present for the discussion

SJFS is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, Virgin Islands Council on the Arts and St John Community Foundation. For more information contact St John Film Society or