Revolution Green: A True Story of Biodiesel in America


From Maui Film Festival Program – By Michael Stein

Revolution Green just might convince you the next energy revolution is centered in Kahului, Maui.

In 1996, Bob King was trying to remove flammable cooking waste from the Central Maui Landfill, and became, in his words, an “alchemist turning garbage into gold.” A diesel mechanic, King converted the gunk to fuel, founded Pacific Biodiesel with wife Kelly at a time when renewable energy still languished in the shadow of cheap oil, created the first biodiesel pumping station, and quite possibly entered American history.

Boosted by great production values, Revolution Green’s portrait of the Kings and their biodiesel process is a crowd-pleaser, especially when Willie Nelson gets the biodiesel bug and, in the film’s most delightful sequence, fills up his Mercedes on Thanksgiving day with fuel from the family turkey. But the film’s ambitions leap beyond our local heroes to a nationwide consideration of the history and the promise of agricultural fuel.

As Revolution Green details in images and statistics the disastrous consequences of our country’s fixation on Big Oil, it scatters jewels of hope throughout the sludge: the Kings start community-based biodiesel factories throughout the mainland, Nelson sells it to truckers across the country and they bring aid to Katrina victims with biofuel in their tanks. Revolution Green is that rare film about America’s energy crisis that suggests how, with a little bit of luck and a lot more Bob Kings and Willie Nelsons, we just may have a future.

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