This short Depression-era documentary describes the importance of the Mississippi River to the United States. It laments the environmental destruction committed in the name of progress, ... See full summary »
This short Depression-era documentary describes the importance of the Mississippi River to the United States. It laments the environmental destruction committed in the name of progress, particularly farming and timber practices which cause massive erosion and result in vast amounts of top soil being washed down the river into the Gulf of Mexico. The film focuses especially on the impact this has had on impoverished farmers. It ends on a very upbeat note, however, with a celebration of the TVA, "modern" farming technology, and the use of dams to control the river and prevent flooding. Written by
This is less interesting than the same film-maker's THE PLOW THAT BROKE THE PLAINS (1936); indeed, I doubt even modern-day locals (that is to say, people inhabiting the various American cities through which the Mississippi river runs) would be hard-pressed to find at least the initial stages of the half-hour documentary engaging! However, it eventually takes the same cautionary stance at the heart of the earlier work since the systematic eradication of forests has left the surrounding valleys and towns unprotected from periodic floods (resulting in mass migration and, by extension, impoverished living) and the Government's quick thinking to resolve the issue by erecting electrically-powered dams throughout this vast area.
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