Winner of 10 festival awards, including "People's Choice," Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival; "Best of Fest," Hazel Wolf Environmental Film Festival; "Best Documentary," Ellensburg Film Festival; "Best Environmental Film," Plymouth Independent Film Festival; "Focus Award" and "Best Independent Film" Montana CINE International. See more »
Written by Mike Chylinski
Performed by Mike Chylinski See more »
One of the other posts wondered about a screening at Hanford. I attended the Tri-Cities premiere last night, and the audience loved it-- an audience of environmentalists, teachers, engineers, scientists and local politicians. Several people interviewed were present as well as the filmmakers, and their comments were positive and passionate. They felt their voices were accurately protected in the editing. And they're beautiful voices indeed. The balancing act the filmmakers managed kept extremism on both sides at bay. We heard from geologiststhey stole the show, looked like the Mythbustersother scientists, developers, farmers, a fisherman and environmental activists. No one claimed absolute right: the complexity of our landscape and our history doesn't allow such easy compartmentalization. What's clear is that "Arid Lands" is a story not just of Hanford and Southeasten Washington but of the Western United States, the story of sagebrush and water and open space and rugged beauty and capitalism and patriotism, ideas that have shaped far more communities than just the Tri-Cities. The editing intersperses interviews, slides detailing the history of the area and then rugged vistas of Southeastern Washington. The music is a great story, too. The filmmakers had no money, so they advertised on Craigslist for musicians who weren't signed to a label who might allow their songs to be used. They got over 300 offers; the musical result is a beautiful background for the visual.
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