Green Shall Overcome

Green Shall Overcome is a 90-minute documentary about Van Jones, the controversial environmental activist. Jones has a dream for America: social justice through green jobs. Handpicked by the Obama Administration to help create a new "green" energy policy for the nation, his vision collides with the partisan politics of Washington.

GREEN SHALL OVERCOME (working title), is a 90-minute documentary about Van Jones, the controversial environmental activist.

In five short years, Jones has catapulted himself from a little known Bay Area activist to an internationally recognized innovator, handpicked by the Obama Administration to serve as a Special Advisor to the President. Jones’ impressive climb came on the strength of his visionary initiative for “green-collar jobs” which are designed to address two of the most daunting domestic challenges facing the United States today: over-dependence on fossil fuels and an unemployed workforce, trained for the jobs of yesterday.

Set against the backdrop of hope and possibility that accompanied Barack Obama into the White House, this film will offer a unique, first-hand vantage on the challenges of changing the status quo – even as a special advisor to the president. But at its core, Jones’ story is a prodigal son’s journey: from the proud, unquestioning patriotism of his childhood; to a young man’s anger and disillusion at the areas in which America fails to live up to its ideals; and finally, as an adult, rediscovering his love for the country through the green-collar movement. Jones believed the green-collar movement could reshape politics in the U.S. by breaking down old barriers on the left and the right. “When we bring together the best of the business community and the best of the tech community and the best of the racial-justice community, we’ll get the coalition we always wanted. Even better, we’ll get the country we always wanted.” In his vision, that means the map won’t be divided between red and blue, but will be all green.

But the Washington that Jones envisioned as a child proves to be in stark contrast to the one he experiences as an Obama special advisor. His dream of a unifying green economy collides with political reality. Jones’ past comes back to haunt him, and a powerful coalition of doubters force a resignation in spite of his efforts and work. Are the doubters right? Was he the right person for the job? We are with Jones during and after the painful decision to resign, and we see Jones reinvent himself in the wake of the shock, finding new strength and a new path for his vision.


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