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."

Arts and Entertainment

Theatre

Arts and Entertainment
V&A museum in London

Art Piece taken off website amid 'severe security alert'

Arts and Entertainment
Over their 20 years, the band has built a community of dedicated followers the world over
music
Arts and Entertainment
The Wu-Tang Clan will sell only one copy of their album Once Upon A Time In Shaolin
musicWu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own only copies of their latest albums
Arts and Entertainment
Bradley Cooper, Alessandro Nivola and Patricia Clarkson on stage

film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Reese Witherspoon starring in 'Wild'

It's hard not to warm to Reese Witherspoon's heroismfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Word up: Robbie Coltrane as dictionary guru Doctor Johnson in the classic sitcom Blackadder the Third
books

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

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

Oscars 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Hacked off: Maisie Williams in ‘Cyberbully’

Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challenge

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything and Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game are both nominated at the Bafta Film Awards
Arts and Entertainment

Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated

Arts and Entertainment
Damian Lewis shooting a scene as Henry VIII in Wolf Hall
TV

Arts and Entertainment
A history of violence: ‘Angry, White and Proud’ looked at the rise of far-right groups

tv

An expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle

Arts and Entertainment

art

Lee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist

Arts and Entertainment

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Michael Keaton in the 1998 Beetlejuice original

film

Arts and Entertainment

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman and David Tennant star in 'Broadchurch'

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Michael Kitchen plays Christopher Foyle in ITV's 'Foyle's War'

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Downton Abbey star Joanne Froggatt will be starring in Dominic Savage's new BBC drama The Secrets

Arts and Entertainment
Vividly drawn: Timothy Spall in Mike Leigh’s ‘Mr Turner’
film
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
News
art

‘Remember the attackers are a cold-blooded, crazy minority’, says Blek le Rat

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

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

    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
    Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

    Diana Krall interview

    The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
    Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

    Pinstriped for action

    A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
    Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

    Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

    'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

    Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

    Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
    Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us