(1971)

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10/10
My Surprise
dad-4216 July 2008
Freedom River is getting more attention now than it did in 1971 when I wrote the screenplay. Here's the genesis of the film: For several years, Bosustow Productions, a small studio for which I wrote several films, had asked Orson Welles, then living in Paris, to narrate one of their films. He never responded. When I finished the Freedom River script, we sent it to him together with a portable reel to reel tape recorder and a sizable check and crossed our fingers. He was either desperate for money or (I would rather believe) something in it touched him because two weeks later we got the reel back with the narration word for word and we were on our way. Joseph C. Cavella HowToWriteComedy.com
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10/10
35 Years Later-Freedom River is still relevant today
tavm29 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I just saw on YouTube an interesting animated short called Freedom River which depicts how the people inhabiting near this red, white, and blue sea start planting crops to feed their families and show their pride. Then that pride becomes arrogance as they turn away strangers who look different from them and they start throwing things in the river that make them turn away from the reality of how ugly they've become with themselves. This short is basically telling us that only WE can turn things around. Orson Welles is very effective with his narration in presenting this parable about the Vietnam War and pollution that was so prevalent during the year (1971) this short was made. Worth a look to find how timely this short is even today with the environment, immigration, and the Iraqi War dominating the headlines.
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8/10
A timeless story that, unfortunately, will probably be ignored...
MartinHafer25 July 2016
Other than the animation, which is effective but rather cheap, "Freedom River" is a timeless classic. It's a parable about freedom--and is clearly meant to imply that it's about the United States. It follows the country from a time of great freedom and success and pride to a period in which selfishness, xenophobia and ignorance end up destroying the river over time. And, ultimately, the film ends with two obvious choices--fascism or self-determination in order to either deal with this dying river or not. It's all very clever and is well worth seeing--especially today when many of the points in this animated film are extremely true. I also appreciate that although the film obviously has a strong agenda, it is done in a very palatable way and the viewer isn't smashed over the head with the message. Exceptionally well made.
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