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 »
Visionary documentary that contrasts the conditions of life in small towns and in the industrialized cities, starting with a brief portrait of pre-industrial United States, then moving into... See full summary »
The story, set in Kansas during the 1920s, covers less than a year in the life of a black teenager, and documents the veritable deluge of events which force him into sudden manhood. The ... See full summary »
A depiction of life in wartime England during the Second World War. Director Humphrey Jennings visits many aspects of civilian life and of the turmoil and privation caused by the war, all without narration.
A solitary flower on a long driveway, a key falling, a door unlocked, a knife in a loaf of bread, a phone off the hook: discordant images a woman sees as she comes home. She naps and, ... See full summary »
An interne witnesses the death of a young mother in a maternity hospital delivery room. Disturbed that he might have overlooked something that could have prevented the death, he goes to a ... 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
I first saw this film 20 years ago in forestry school. This film vividly shows the effect of poor agricultural practices and poor timber harvesting in the water cycle. It has footage of the devastating flood on 1927 along the Mississippi River. I learned that the film had been used for years by foresters from the Yazoo-Little Tallahatchie Flood Prevention Project and other U.S. Forest Service foresters to educate the public on the value of planting trees to prevent soil erosion and help heal the land from years of crop production on marginal lands. I think every student of environmental history and management should view this film at some time in their career. It is available from a couple of places, but I found a video from Kino which has not only The River, but the companion piece, The Plow that broke the plains, and two other short documentaries. The River and The Plow that broke the plains were part of FDR's New Deal propaganda (in a positive sense) which promoted conservation using outstanding photography, outstanding scripts, and emotionally compelling scoring.
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