Robert Redford is an eco-hypocrite, film claims

Hollywood A-listers love to trumpet their green credentials. Guy Adams reports on a film-maker who's out to expose them

For years, they've preached green living while travelling the world in SUVs, limousines and private jets. But now Hollywood's foremost tree-huggers face the prospect of being exposed as eco-hypocrites – in the very medium that finances their extravagant carbon footprints in the first place.

Robert Redford became the latest movie star to have his environmental credentials publicly ridiculed on film this week, when a hostile documentary was released in which he stood accused of failing to practise the environmentalism that he so vehemently preaches.

The short film, Robert Redford: Hypocrite, was released on Friday, via YouTube, to coincide with the closing days of his Sundance Film Festival. Depending on your point of view, it represented either a cheap hatchet-job or a stunning evisceration of a pioneering green activist who was once lauded on Time Magazine's list of environmental "superheroes".

According to the film, Redford recently sold a dozen plots of land near to the Sundance ski resort in Utah, which he owns, to developers seeking to build luxury homes there. The revelation is especially contentious because each of the sites sits on an undeveloped ridge, in what was previously wilderness. Ironically, Redford recently stuck his head above the parapet to lobby against a similar project in California's Napa Valley, where he keeps a home. Mind you, the film points out, the nimby-ish actor did not stand to profit from the Napa development. The plots of land near Sundance, by contrast, fetched him around $2m each.

"It's the hypocrisy that gets me," said the film's Irish director, Phelim McAleer. "He's taking a lovely virgin ridge and building McMansions on it. Granted, they're nice, lefty, eco-McMansions. But they're McMansions all the same. At the same time, he's trying to stop other people from building houses in a nice spot." The film also points out that Redford, 74, has often called for the world to reduce its carbon footprint, while simultaneously accepting the shilling of United Airlines, for which he performed voiceovers in aTV advert proclaiming that "it's time to fly".

Yet the Sundance Kid won't be the last Hollywood liberal to face the howitzers of McAleer, who became a known figure among climate change deniers in 2009, when he released the controversial feature-length documentary Not Evil Just Wrong, which disputed global warming science.

In a previous short film finished two months ago, McAleer, ridiculed the environmental credentials of James Cameron. The Avatar director preaches "living with less", it noted, while owning a helicopter, a fleet of submarines, three Harley Davidsons, four sports cars and a private yacht.

Aerial footage of Cameron's Malibu estate in the film revealed several large houses, at least three heated swimming pools, a fire engine, but not one solar panel or wind turbine.

McAleer now has a "hit list" of other celebrities he regards as hypocritical. He intends to make and release a new film laying into one of them every two to three months. He also plans take aim at some US politicians.

"As a film-maker, this is the gift that keeps on giving," he says. "We have a hit list, and as well as the usual Hollywood suspects it has people like John McCain on it – a man who has backed climate-change legislation, while being unable to remember how many homes he owns."

Unlike many independent film-makers, who can find themselves in dire financial straits, McAleer says his short pictures are self-financing. On YouTube, they drive traffic to his website, where fans purchase DVDs of Not Evil Just Wrong. The Cameron film clocked up 175,000 "views".

"There seems to be something about the environmental movement that attracts hypocritical people," he added. "Most are rich, and while they don't want to give up what's made their life happy, they're happy to tell other people not to, say, drive an SUV. Making films that knock them is basically like shooting fish in a barrel."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Feeling all at sea: Barbara's 18-year-old son came under the influence of a Canadian libertarian preacher – and she had to fight to win him back
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Living the high life: Anne Robinson enjoys some skip-surfed soup
TV review
Arts and Entertainment

Great British Bake Off
Arts and Entertainment
Doctor Who and Missy in the Doctor Who series 8 finale

TV
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Chvrches lead singer Lauren Mayberry in the band's new video 'Leave a Trace'

music
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Home on the raunch: George Bisset (Aneurin Barnard), Lady Seymour Worsley (Natalie Dormer) and Richard Worsley (Shaun Evans)

TV review
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers

Strictly
Arts and Entertainment
NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton

film
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell and Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones
Arts and Entertainment
New book 'The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep' by Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin

books
Arts and Entertainment
Calvi is not afraid of exploring the deep stuff: loneliness, anxiety, identity, reinvention
music
Arts and Entertainment
Edinburgh solo performers Neil James and Jessica Sherr
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
If a deal to buy tBeats, founded by hip-hop star Dr Dre (pictured) and music producer Jimmy Iovine went through, it would be Apple’s biggest ever acquisition

album review
Arts and Entertainment
Paloma Faith is joining The Voice as a new coach

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Dowton Abbey has been pulling in 'telly tourists', who are visiting Highclere House in Berkshire

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Patriot games: Vic Reeves featured in ‘Very British Problems’
TV review
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

    Why are we addicted to theme parks?

    Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
    Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

    Iran is opening up again to tourists

    After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
    10 best PS4 games

    10 best PS4 games

    Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
    Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

    ‘Can we really just turn away?’

    Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

    ... and not just because of Isis vandalism
    Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

    Girl on a Plane

    An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
    Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

    That's a bit rich

    The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
    Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

    Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

    Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
    Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

    Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

    Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
    A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

    Britain's Atlantis

    Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past