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educational media on the critical issues of our times

Drying for Freedom

A Film by Steven Lake and Adam Merrifield

53 Minutes

Scene Selection • Closed Captioned

Grades 6 – Adult
Item #:DFF-1065

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K-12 Schools, Public Libraries, Community Groups - $79
Colleges, Businesses, Other Institutions - $195
Colleges (DVD with Digital Site License) - $295
Drying For Freedom travels from America’s clothesline-free yards to India’s open-air laundromats to explore how the electric dream was marketed, without regard for its environmental and other impacts.

In post-war America, the push to “Live Better Electrically”, with Ronald Reagan as spokesman, was symbolized by the selling of energy hungry clothes dryers to replace the centuries-old zero energy outdoor clothesline. With archival TV ads and commentary, the film looks at how consumer demand was created for an electric utopia, where the dryer became a necessity and the clothesline became an ugly thing of the past.

Convenience trumped consequence, as energy consumption rose rapidly, with significant impacts on the environment – and personal freedom. Sixty years later, more than 50 million Americans live in communities where energy efficient clotheslines are banned as unsightly. But line-drying activist Alexander Lee has campaigned since 1997 across America for the “Right to Dry”, turning the age-old clothesline into a powerful symbol for efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

Drying For Freedom
 begins with the symbolic battle over the clothesline, but expands to the bigger potential global consequences of increasing energy usage in developing countries.

In India, we witness how the electric dream is now being marketed there, with the goal of bringing electricity to the 400 million Indian citizens now living without it. But will it be done in India, and in other countries, in a way that contributes to climate change, or will it be done in a different way? The future of our planet may hang in the balance.
Drying for Freedom