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The Unforeseen (2007)

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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 290 users   Metascore: 76/100
Reviews: 12 user | 38 critic | 15 from Metacritic.com

A documentary about the development around Barton Springs in Austin, Texas, and the environment's unexpected response to human interference.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Curtis Peterson ...
Himself
...
Himself
...
Himself
Ann Richards ...
Herself
Roy Butler ...
Himself
William Greider ...
Himself
...
Himself (archive footage)
Bill Bunch ...
Himself
Jim Bob Moffett ...
Himself (archive footage)
Cedar Stevens ...
Herself
Nico Hauwert ...
Himself
Chock Woodruff ...
Himself
Neil Tuttrup ...
Himself
Frank Cooksey ...
Himself (archive footage)
Dick Brown ...
Himself
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Storyline

A documentary about the development around Barton Springs in Austin, Texas, and the environment's unexpected response to human interference.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

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Details

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Release Date:

January 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

To aprovlepto  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Laura Dunn was 9 months pregnant at the time of her interview with Robert Redford. The interview took place on her due date. She gave birth the next day to a son (to whom the film is dedicated). See more »

Goofs

A latter animation showing water lines becoming blood vessels has a noticeable shift. It appears a duplicate frame has been accidentally inserted. See more »

Quotes

Wendell Berry: I walked the deserted prospect of the modern mind - where nothing lived or happened that had not been foreseen. What had been foreseen was the coming of the Stranger with Money. All that had been before had been destroyed: A new earth had appeared in place of the old, made entirely according to plan. Some small human understanding seemed to have arrayed itself there without limit, and to have cast its grid upon the sky, the stars, the rising and the setting sun. I could not see past it but to ...
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Crazy Credits

The closing title sequence, designed by Kyle Cooper/Prologue, begins on a massive abstract-art depiction of overdeveloped land and zooms all the way down to the surface to rest upon a single tree. Cooper requested his credit be "Closing title/Cosmic Zoom Sequence" which is what appears in the credit crawl. See more »

Connections

Features Frontline: The Great American Bailout (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Meo Blodnaair
Written by J. Birgisson, O. Dryason, G. Holm, K. Sveinssin
Produced by Sigur Rós
Courtesy of Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Powerful film about land development in Austin, TX
10 March 2007 | by (Austin, TX, United States) – See all my reviews

This film premiered at Austin's SXSW Film Festival after its initial showing a few months ago at Sundance. The Unforeseen is one of the most cinematically beautiful documentaries to appear in a long time. There are stunning sequences of Barton Springs. One could certainly feel the influence of producers Robert Redford (particularly A River Runs Through It) and Terrence Malick. The nature shots were spectacular. The story that is told is particularly powerful to those who know and love Austin, but the broader conflicts between land development and environmental protection are universal and can be well-understood, although perhaps in a less personal way, by those who have never visited Austin.

While the film is clearly takes a pro-environmental stand, it is not a one-sided polemical. It presents a sympathetic and fair portrait of land developer Gary Bradley. It lets him tell his story without making him out to be a cruel unfeeling villain. It presents the history in a nuanced light that is often missing from documentary film-making. The film includes many conflicting voices and let's the audience make its own decisions. This type of film reflects the best standards of journalistic rather ideological Michael Moore-style manipulative film-making. It presents a complicated conflict of values in a way that both takes a stand without mocking those they disagree with. While some of the narrative seems a little self-righteous at times, and the title (taken from a poem used in the film) seems a little confusing and unclear, overall, the film is an excellent lesson in history and politics. I hope that it gets wide distribution, because it is a debate that the American public needs to engage over what trade offs Americans are willing to make between the environment and development. How much of our natural beauty are we willing to give up to accommodate modernity?


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