After “Grass”, his exploration of all things marijuana, documentary filmmaker Ron Mann now follows Woody Harrelson (who narrated “Grass”) on a road trip down the Pacific Coast. Riding a hemp-fuelled bus as well as covering more than a thousand miles on bicycles, Harrelson and his “Merry Hempsters” go from Seattle to Los Angeles, stopping at various college campuses to give eco-consciousness raising lectures but also promoting their ideals at every moment of every day through the way they eat, behave and think.
The film shows that sustainable living is not a pipe dream. There are plenty of alternatives to destructive industrial practices. We don’t need to cut down forests to make paper, we don’t need pesticides and genetically modified seeds to farm, we don’t have to burn oil for electricity… Solar energy, raw foods, organic farming, clean bio-fuel, it’s all within out grasp if we’re willing to learn “how to live with a light footprint on the earth”.
Woody Harrelson is a great spokesperson. He truly seems to be one with nature, doing what he does because he knows this is the right way. He’s a vegan, he does yoga, he disapproves of environmental degradation and he’d love for everyone to tag along, of course, but he’s never aggressively pushing it on people or taking himself too seriously. There’s always this irreverent charm to him. He’s sad about the state of the world, but he still has hope for the future and the predominant feeling through the movie is one of positivity. Let’s improve ourselves individually and maybe the world will follow.
As great as the ideas it conveys are, “Go Further” is not a great documentary. It feels loose and scattered, sometimes wasting time on the anecdotic instead of further exploring the issues. And while they’re enjoyable on their own, the little musical breaks featuring Dave Matthews, Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and others don’t really contribute anything substantial.
Most of the points addressed in “Go Further” are familiar, but they do need to be repeated again and again because it’s too easy to fall back into the comfort of careless consumption. Myself, I’m concerned with environmental issues, I walk or ride my bike everywhere (I don’t even have a driver’s license), I recycle, etc. Yet I still eat processed crap, I encourage corporate exploitation with my spending dollars… I’m a lazy, lazy man, but I’m trying. We can’t change the world overnight, but every small personal transformation is a step in the right direction.
To find out more about sustainable living, go to