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America's Lost Landscape: The Tallgrass Prairie (2005)

America's Lost Landscape: The Tallgrass Prairie tells the rich and complex story of one of the most astonishing alterations of nature in human history. Prior to Euro-American settlement in ... See full summary »

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2 wins. See more awards »

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Credited cast:
Nina Leopold Bradley ...
Herself - Conservationist
Pauline Drobney ...
Herself - Biologist
Dayton Duncan ...
Himself - Writer
Lance Foster ...
Himself - Landscape Historian
...
Narrator
Murphy Guyer ...
Aldo Leopold (voice)
Laura Jackson ...
Herself - Conservation Biologist
Wes Jackson ...
Himself - Director, The Land Institute
Carl Leopold ...
Himself - Botanist
Richard Manning ...
Himself - Writer
Eileen Schuyler ...
Willa Cather (voice)
Daryl Smith ...
Himself
Anton Treuer ...
Himself
...
Black Hawk (voice)
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Storyline

America's Lost Landscape: The Tallgrass Prairie tells the rich and complex story of one of the most astonishing alterations of nature in human history. Prior to Euro-American settlement in the 1820s, one of the major landscape features of North America was 240 million acres of tallgrass prairie. But between 1830 and 1900 - in the space of a single lifetime - the tallgrass prairie was steadily transformed to farmland. This drastic change in the landscape also brought about an enormous social change for Native Americans; in an equally short time their cultural imprint was reduced in essence to a handful of place-names appearing on maps. America's Lost Landscape examines the record of human struggle, triumph, and defeat that prairie history exemplifies, including the history and culture of America's aboriginal inhabitants. The story of how and why the prairie was changed by Euro-American settlement is thoughtfully nuanced. The film also highlights prairie preservation efforts and ... Written by David O'Shields

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America's Lost Landscape: The Tallgrass Prairie tells the rich and complex story of one of the most astonishing alterations of nature in human history.

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Documentary

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1 September 2005 (USA)  »

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$735,000 (estimated)
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1.85 : 1
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America's Lost Landscape received the International Documentary Association's Pare Lorentz Award in 2005. Among the nine nominees for this award was the Oscar winning documentary, March of the Penguins. See more »

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A fine old-school documentary. . .
6 July 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

. . .no frills, no gimmicks, just solid film-making.

Excellent cinematography frames this hour-long film based on the sweeping biotransformation of the American Midwest in late 19th/early 20th centuries. A very well-balanced script, which avoids the common cliché of villainizing the settlers, farmers and ranchers responsible for the conversion of the vast native grasslands (the "Lost Landscape" of the title) into arable land necessary for westward expansion of the US, is narrated beautifully by Annabeth Gish. The striking scenery is augmented by a lush score composed and performed by Brian Keane, veteran of numerous docs (including one of my all-time favorites, George Roy's brilliant "Curse of the Bambino").

All in all, a worthwhile film for those of an ecological and historical bent.


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