Before Julia Butterfly Hill climbed a 200-foot redwood tree to protest logging in December of 1997, she had never been involved in environmental activism.

Before independent filmmaker Doug Wolens knew who Hill was, he was interested in political issues only, not environmental ones.

By the time Hill came down from the tree in December of 1999, she had caught the attention of activists. Wolens, who was inspired by Hill after he heard her speak in a radio interview, went to Northern California to document Hill’s life in the tree.

“I, too, at the beginning came up with 101 reasons why I shouldn’t do this, like we all do,” Hill said. “We are human. If I was up there because I hate corporations, then it would have killed me. I was up there because I love the forest.”

Wolens’ documentary “Butterfly” will be shown today at 7:30 p.m. in Campbell Hall as an introduction to Hill, who will speak Saturday in Isla Vista Theater. While filming, Wolens said he became increasingly inspired by Hill’s perspective.

“I learned so much while shooting Julia,” Wolens said. “You will learn something even if you don’t know about environmental issues or about Julia. It is a good look of how Julia lives in the tree, and it is a good story.”

Hill said she believes Wolens did a good job with the documentary but that his perspective, not Hill’s, is the film’s main focus.

“All I did was give my time to the interview, and it was the only part that I was allowed to play,” she said. “However, I hope that it is a piece that will inform, inspire and educate people to take action.”

During her two years in the tree, Hill experienced raging storms that threatened to blow her out of the tree, and numbing temperatures. Yet the numbness of apathy is what Hill said she fears most.

“Numbness scares me a lot worse than passion, because even if passion is misdirected, you can redirect them and with numbness you have to peel at the layers of numbness to spark their passion for something,” she said.

Many loggers and local citizens protested Hill’s actions and threatened her while she was in the tree. The tree had been partially cut while she was up there. Loggers eventually agreed to save Hill’s 1,000-foot redwood tree, which she named Luna, as well as the surrounding area.

Though sitting in a tree was Hill’s quick and only solution to save Luna, her dedication eventually inspired other environmentalists.

“Julia has had a large impact on me, just seeing the dedication that someone like her has put into the movement and into protecting the environment,” Environmental Affairs Board Chair Courtney Estes said. “Julia has connected not only the environmental but the social and economic, and I think that people in our generation understand these connections and are working together to create a positive change.”

Environmental studies lecturer Marc McGinnes said this documentary is a good statement for everyone to see what citizenship means.

“You don’t have to climb a tree, but you can live lives as conscious citizens and vote with [your] dollars and not spend so much money on crap and start living like the warriors that we need to be,” McGinnes said.