NECESSITY traces the fight in Minnesota against the expansion of pipelines carrying highly toxic tar sands oil through Native lands and essential waterways in North America. Front line communities--Native Peoples and communities of color--suffer the most immediate and severe consequences of the climate crisis: impacts on physical and mental health as well as territorial desecration and displacement. Yet with painful histories have come deep insights, forms of resilience and modes of resistance.
This feature-length documentary follows Indigenous leaders and white allies, using direct action to protect the sacred and demand justice. Legal experts discuss the record of disparate treatment in the justice system and the legal strategy of the necessity defense, which makes a moral case for acts of civil disobedience, while medical and scientific experts address the health effects of fossil fuels and dangers of pipeline and refinery infrastructure.
Capturing the natural beauty of the region as well as the vulnerability of local habitats, aesthetic and stylistic elements drive the action forward, including animated maps with illustrations.