a film by Derek Hallquist (2016, 92 mins)
Bullfrog Films Distribution
Every day our changing climate pushes us closer to an environmental catastrophe, but for most the problem is easy to ignore. As people we often find it difficult to face change. We’d rather be in denial.
David Hallquist, CEO of a Vermont utility, has made it his mission to take on one of the US’s largest contributors to this global crisis, our outdated and vulnerable electric grid. Under David’s leadership his utility was one of the first to implement a smart grid. In order to make the widespread use of renewable energy sources practical, David argues, we first have to build a smart grid which uses digital communications technology to detect and react to local changes in usage, thereby decreasing outages and increasing efficiency.
But when his filmmaker son, Derek, tries to tell his father’s story, the film is soon derailed by a staggering family secret, one that forces Derek and David to turn their attention toward a much more personal struggle, one that can no longer be denied. With stunning access to intimate family moments and behind-the-scenes energy deals, and with unique humor in the face of overwhelming events, DENIAL manages to present insights into two important topics – one global and one personal – through a funny, informational, and enormously compelling personal narrative, and at the same time to throw light on the messy business of change.