The Los Angeles Times | Robert Abele
"It's subjects shine and inspire."
The Hollywood Reporter | Leslie Felperin
"If [Knock Down the House] was A New Hope, this is The Empire Strikes Back."
The New York Times | Teo Bugbee
"Representative Ocasio-Cortez offers the best onscreen antidote to despair."
RogerEbert.com | Monica Castillo
"Throughout To the End, there is a clear sense of urgency to the call for action."
Variety | Dennis Harvey
"Keeps its large canvas entertaining and informative."
Science.org | Sarah Roth
“Such scenes remind us that the social contract between Americans and their government has been rewritten before and can be again.”
The Moveable Fest | Stephen Saito
"Illustrates how the issue of climate change touches on so many others that exist in our society today."
The Spool | Ashley Lara
"It’s an impressive task to craft a documentary that connects multiple activists and events over the course of four years under 93 minutes."
Backseat Mafia | Rob Aldam
"Highlights the pressing need for change and the strong and determined voices committed to make it happen."
Blackfilm.com | Donna Torrence
"Goes behind the scenes of the movement."
Buttered Popcorn | Carson Timar
"Not afraid to take shots at both sides and expose everyone working against progress."
GeekVibesNation | jtong42
"A pressingly important lens into the political fight against climate change."
Paste Magazine | Jacob Oller
The Playlist | Christian Gallichio
"Lears’ film replicates the simultaneous enthusiasm and indignation that propels these activists to continue working."
Point of View Magazine | Pat Mullen
"A rallying cry for young people to answer the call and fight for the future."
EfilmCritic | Peter Sobczynski
"Those who watch it will doubtlessly come out of it as determined as ever to not give up hope."
Film Threat | Alex Saveliev
"These four determined, relentless, passionate, and relatable women are aware of the struggle and yet forge ahead."
Tilt Magazine | Stephen Silver
"A street-level examination of the political process."
Hammer to Nail | Christopher Llewellyn Reed
"These four brilliant, extremely motivated women serve as avatars for all those fighting the good fight on behalf of everyone."
Reel News Daily | Liz Whittemore
"A successful blueprint on the real steps towards tangible progress."
Modern Times Review | Lauren Wissot
"Lears herself seems genuinely inspired by her idealistic characters – which inevitably translates to the screen."
Shokya | Abe Friedtanzer
"More than talking points – there is a tremendous amount of emotion and passion infused in every element of what these young people do."
Dissapointment Media | Sean Boelman
"A very angry, timely film."
The Progressive Magazine | Ed Rampell
"To the End chronicles the compelling struggles of four young Black and brown women as they fight against all odds to move the moribund Democratic Party to the left, in particular on the life and death issue of the climate emergency."
Dissapointment Media | Dan Skip Allen
"A film with a message that can save our country."
The Wrap | Elizabeth Weitzman
"One of the subjects of To the End notes that she wants to 'speak things into existence.' It’s a painfully poignant wish, representative of the blend of optimism, desperation, and determination that powers the entire film."
Victoria, VA Advocate | L Kent Wolgammot
"An insightful look at the frustrations, determination and passionate belief of the four women leading the efforts to address climate change."
The Utah Review | Les Roka
"Succeeds in showing just how far the conversation about climate policy has expanded in three years."
Katie Couric Media
"From the director of 2019’s Knock Down the House comes another riveting documentary about powerful women who will stop at nothing to change our world for the better."
RogerEbert.com | Nick Allen
"To the End is set to ignite more Americans to take action."
Director of TO THE END
REQUEST A GOOD TALK WITH RACHEL LEARS
"I've been making films about social movements for over a decade, covering historic campaigns from Occupy Wall Street and the immigrant labor movement to insurgent Congressional candidates to the inside-outside strategy of the climate movement which led to the passage of the first major climate legislation in US history. ... Students and audiences at my previous presentations have often told me they come away inspired and better informed, whether the topic is independent filmmaking or how movements can stop the climate crisis and make economic and racial justice part of the solution."
Rachel Lears is an award-winning documentary director, producer and cinematographer based in Brooklyn, NY. Her most recent feature documentary, TO THE END (Roadside Attractions), which follows four high-profile environmental leaders who ignite historic shifts in U.S. climate politics, premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and went on to play at Tribeca Film Festival, CPH:DOX, Hot Docs, and others; it was released theatrically in December 2022. Her last feature documentary, Knock Down the House (Netflix), follows four women who ran insurgent congressional campaigns in 2018. The film won the US Documentary Audience Award and the Festival Favorite award at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, was shortlisted for an Oscar and nominated for an Emmy in 2020. Previously, she co-directed The Hand That Feeds (PBS) with Robin Blotnick, following a groundbreaking labor campaign waged by undocumented immigrants at a Manhattan deli; the film won numerous festival awards and was nominated for an Emmy in 2017. Rachel was a 2013 Sundance Creative Producing Lab fellow, and she received the IDA Emerging Filmmaker Award in 2019. Rachel also has an extensive academic background, with a BA in Music from Yale University, and an MA in Ethnomusicology, Graduate Certificate in Culture & Media and a PhD in Cultural Anthropology from NYU. Her dissertation explored popular music, visual culture and cultural policy in Uruguay, and was supported by two Fulbright grants and a Mellon Foundation Dissertation Completion Fellowship, among others. She has taught courses at the undergraduate level in anthropology and ethnomusicology, and at the graduate level in documentary film production. Rachel has spoken and visited classes at numerous colleges and universities, discussing documentary film practice, film ethics, social justice impact filmmaking, and the contemporary issues explored in her work. Institutions that have hosted Rachel to speak include Columbia University, American University, Rutgers University, and more; in 2014 she gave the keynote address at the Ethnocineca Film Festival in Vienna, Austria. While promoting her films, she has also spoken extensively with media outlets, including podcasts such as The Intercept’s Deconstructed and television programs such as MSNBC’s Morning Joe and PBS’s Amanpour & Company.