Ready to get Wrenched?

3 Apr

A new documentary about the past, present and future of eco-resistance is on its way out


From the filmmakers’ website: Wrenched captures the passing of the monkey wrench from the pioneers of eco-activism to the new generation who have carried Ed Abbey’s legacy into the 21st century…

monkeywrench_collectionFrom Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle to Rachael Carson’s Silent Spring, American literature has a history of being in the vanguard when it comes to activism about controversial issues. The books of Edward Abbey carry on that tradition, with memoirs like Desert Solitaire and the classic comic novel, The Monkey Wrench Gang, taking on the degradation of the American Southwest. 

Filmmaker ML Lincoln’s documentary, Wrenched, reveals how Edward Abbey’s anarchistic spirit and riotous novels influenced and helped guide the nascent environmental movement of the 1970s and ’80s. Through exclusive interviews and personal archival footage, ML Lincoln captures the outrage of Abbey’s friends who were the original eco-warriors. Crossing legal and ethical lines in defense of the wilderness, these early activists pioneered “Monkeywrenching” – a radical blueprint for “wrenching the system.”


Art by Jim Stiles

Exemplified by Earth First! in the early ’80s, direct action and civil disobedience grew in popularity in the defense of Mother Earth. With tree-spiking, forest occupation and high-profile publicity stunts such as cracking the Glenn Canyon Dam, this group and others became the eventual target of FBI infiltrators, leading to the arrest of various members.

Abbey’s message has lived on, however. Young activists are carrying on the monkeywrenching torch, using his books as a source of inspiration. Wrenched captures this new generation, personified in Tim DeChristopher, who single-handedly stopped the sale of 100,000+ of acres of public trust lands in southeastern Utah, and sentenced to federal prison for his actions.

wrenched interview_marilyn_tewa

Interview with Hopi Matriarch, Marilyn Tewa – by Don Lago

And so the fight continues to sustain the last bastion of the American frontier—the Wild West. And Wrenched, following in Abbey’s footsteps, asks the question, “how far are we willing go in defense of wilderness?”

The Film is directed and produced by ML Lincoln and Kurt Engfehr. Lincoln’s previous award-winning documentary, Drowning River, celebrates the environmental activism of 1950’s starlet, Katie Lee, telling the story of a feisty woman’s 50-year battle against the Arizona politics and corporate agendas which “murdered” her beloved Glen Canyon.

And Kurt has worked in all areas of television and film production, best known for his work as the main editor and co-producer on two of Michael Moore’s films, Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11. In addition, Kurt also co-directed, The Yes Men: Fix the World.

Someone representing “the crew of Wrenched” (apparently looking to keep their anonymity… good for them) recently spoke in an interview with Green Earth Cinema. Here’s some of what they had to say:

Interview with Doug Peacock, allegedly Ed's inspiration for Hayduke of the Monkey Wrench Gang

Interview with Doug Peacock, allegedly Ed’s inspiration for Hayduke of the Monkey Wrench Gang

Green Earth Cinema: Ed Abbey was a prolific writer. He wrote non-fiction, fiction, and even published a book or two of aphorisms. Do you have a favorite quote, passage, or aphorism? Would you share it?

Wrenched Crew: “My job is to save the fucking wilderness. I don’t know anything else worth saving,” George Hayduke from The Monkey Wrench Gang

GEC: What’s next for “Wrenched“?

WC: We look forward to finishing the film this Spring and using it as a catalyst to re-introduce Abbey’s spirit of anarchism and rebellion.

[EF! Newswire Note: We have some strong disagreements over Ed Abbey’s opinions on immigration and the US/Mexico border—namely, we find it ironic that for all his righteous biocentrism, Ed seemed to side with Dave Foreman’s right-wing position on maintaining a unnatural Jaguar-killing border policy. Nevertheless, we are glad to see a passion for militant defense of the wild being so strongly highlighted by this film, and we hope that, accompanying this renewed interest in Ed’s work, further dialogue will be had around (1) the need to challenge lingering anti-immigrant sentiments in EF! and (2) a push to get rid of the border wall that Dave sadly became a tool for.]

2 Responses to “Ready to get Wrenched?”

  1. Conspiracy2Riot April 5, 2013 at 1:46 am #

    great promo but when IS the film coming out? need a projected date.


  1. Catching Fire to the Reign | Earth First! Newswire - May 19, 2013

    […] pop culture isn’t the only sign of it. Take a look at the rise of indy flics like The East, Wrenched, Who Bomber Judi Bari?, and even Beasts of the Southern Wild, all traveling the film fest circuit […]

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