We’re very pleased to post this interview published recently in Culturamas, about filmmaker, jeweler, activist Susan Rockefeller, with special attention to our film.
Here’s the link: Culturamas.es-SR-5.8.12.
And below is the translation of the article into English:
Susan Rockefeller, filmmaker and daughter in law of one of the world’s most powerful men, talks with us about her relationship with her father in law, the launch of her latest film, her jewelry collection and her upcoming projects. Her latest work was the coproduction of the internationally acclaimed A Sea Change, about ocean acidification…The film discusses what our life would be like in a world without fish, a frightening prospect that is becoming more and more of a reality in our present day. Susan also addresses this problem in Mission of Mermaids, an ode to the seas that seeks to raise awareness about our urgent need to protect them.
Aside from her work as a filmmaker and jewelry designer, Susan is also on the board of Oceana, the NRDC and the Stone Barns program for Sustainable Agriculture.
Did you study film or something similar?
I studied photography. I was always interested in how Henri Cartier Bresson, Lewis Hine and Robert Kink documented people, their loneliness and isolation, in an aesthetic way. Filmmaking came later, when I wanted to reach a wider audience, while combining art, music and image.
Why are interested in the ocean?
One of my favorite memories is about being near the ocean. I love being able to float in the salty water, the joy of splashing into the sea waves. I loved building sand castles when I was a girl and collecting shells and pebbles. The ocean was a peaceful place where my imagination could be free. I have always wanted to protect it.
What impact did the article The Darkening Sea have on you when you read it?
The Darkening Sea by Elizabeth Kolbert was one of the most powerful articles I’ve ever read about the ocean. It was what motivated Barbara Ettiinger, Sven Huseby and me to coproduce the documentary A Sea Change. Carbon dioxide deposits are wreaking havoc on the ocean’s ecosystem and very people were aware of this. Fish are the principal source of protein for millions of people so we realized it was important to do something so that everyone would understand the gravity of the situation.
Tell me about the production of A Sea Change
The project began five years ago during a conversation about The Darkening Sea. After interviewing a few scientists and Sven Huseby, we decided it would be a good idea that he share the story with his grandson.
How is David Rockefeller (Senior) as a person and as a family man?
My father in law is a lovely, compassionate person who adores his family. Family, love and health are things that money and influence cannot buy. My father in law is a wonderful example of someone who truly understands what is important in life.
In your professional life, has it be difficult to carry the Rockefeller name?
A name can open one or two doors, but if you don’t have passion and, above all, talent, a name alone is not enough.
Are you satisfied with what you have achieved up until now?
No, there is still much more to see, feel, absorb and do in this life. Failure is a large part of success, so I live in a constant state of tension between satisfaction and dissatisfaction.
How would you like to be remembered?
As a mother, wife, daughter, sister and friend to my loved ones.
Talk to me about your jewelry collection
The first big launch took place at the Christie’s Green Auction on April 11. I designed two necklaces to raise awareness about the problems related to water and the fact that millions of people don’t have access to clean drinking water. All proceeds went to the NRDC, Oceana, Conservation International and the Central Park Conservancy. I also designed a Mission of Mermaids collection, as part of my campaign to raise awareness about the ocean. Twenty-five percent of the proceeds goes to Oceana.
What are your dreams?
I think John Lennon was right with his song Imagine. We need to imagine and dream to make this world a healthier, more peaceful place.
What are your expectations with the film and the message that you want to send out to others?
I hope to inspire others to become involved in any way they can in their communities—a sailor can join the organization Sailors of the Sea or Oceana; someone who lives near a bay can join the group Save the Bay; a surfer can join Save Our Seas, and so forth. Less than 1% of the money allocated t to the environment goes to ocean conservation, and yet the oceans cover 71% of the planet. I hope to change this percentage to save the gift that we have in these oceans and help feed the planet.