In a city where oil spills, air quality red-alerts, and poverty are commonplace, Chasing the Sun asks the hard questions of how a clean energy economy may actually be built, through the stories of unemployed American workers seeking to retool at a solar power jobs training program in Richmond, California.
Over the course of a solar training program and subsequent search for jobs, Chasing the Sun explores the hope and heartbreak of unemployed American workers pursuing jobs in the clean energy economy. The film explores characters who reflect the multi-racial landscape of the United States; an immigrant father of seven who escaped the war in El Salvador only to confront violence in Richmond; a young single mother struggling to make it in a male-dominated industry; and a recently laid off warehouse worker who sees solar as the next big opportunity. The film explores the larger global forces that have influenced the ability of Solar Richmond trainees to get a clean energy job. Through archival footage, news, interviews with thought leaders, and portraits of supporting characters, Chasing the Sun carefully weaves the promises and challenges facing this emerging industry. Chasing the Sun tells the story of environmental transformation from the rarely considered perspective of workers who may build a solution with their own hands, and their successes, failures, and challenges speak to one of the biggest questions of our time: will America actually, in a nuts-and-bolts way, be able to build a clean energy economy?
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