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Filmmaker returns to present her work

SANTA FE, N.M. — Elizabeth Gaylynn Baker is excited about returning to the Land of Enchantment.

Santa Fe was her home for 17 years.

On her return to New Mexico, Baker is bringing her award-winning documentary, “We Know Not What We Do” for a screening on Earth Day.

“It’s been thrilling to see the year and a half I put into the film having an impact on people,” she said. “This film is a love letter to human beings. I was hired to make a film on climate change, and what came out of it is this film. Humans need to change the way we’re living on the planet.”

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Shot in 2015, the documentary captures interviews and footage from Native American elders prophesying about the “black snake,” which has been interpreted to be a prediction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Baker traveled to the Appalachian Mountains and talked to a coal miner about mountaintop removal.

Her journey also led her to Alaska – Kivalina, to be exact – where she talked with Eskimos about climate change.

Then it was off to Washington, D.C., where she interviewed climate change expert James Hansen and others.

Yet it was her trip to the Dakotas and the Keystone Pipeline that opened her eyes.

“I went to the Rosebud (Sioux Tribe) Reservation and met the spiritual shaman,” she said. “He was warning of the ‘black snake’ that would destroy the land. The Dakota Access Pipeline didn’t happen until a year and a half later.”

Baker was awarded the Humanitarian Award from the Accolade Global Film Competition in 2015.

Over the past six months, Baker’s screenings and book signings have attracted bigger audiences.

And it’s surprising her.

“When I first started the film, it was seen as only an artistic film,” she said. “Times are changing, and the documentary is helping open people’s minds even further.”


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