Stream Film Festival Environmental Documentaries March 16–31

Posted March 14, 2021 at 4:30 am by

From Fri­day Har­bor Film Festival

Fri­day Har­bor Film Festival’s Direc­tor Series presents four online films: “The Return of the River“and “The Mem­o­ry of Fish” from March 16 to 31, and “Dolores,” in col­lab­o­ra­tions with the WSU San Juan Islands Agri­cul­tur­al Sum­mit, from March 20 to 27 at fhff.org.

Screen each film for only $2.95.  A new short film, “Ris­ing from the Ash­es,” will be avail­able free.  These doc­u­men­taries offer view­ers hope for envi­ron­men­tal jus­tice and social change. Direc­tors will be host­ing livestream Q&As. Check the web­site for details.

“Return of the Riv­er” (co-direct­ed by Jes­si­ca Plum and John Guss­man) fol­lows a group of strong-mind­ed, com­mit­ted peo­ple as they attempt to change the pub­lic opin­ion of a town, and even­tu­al­ly the entire coun­try, to remove both dams on the Elwha Riv­er in Wash­ing­ton State. The film tells the sto­ry of the largest dam removal and riv­er restora­tion project in his­to­ry. It explores an extra­or­di­nary com­mu­ni­ty effort to set the riv­er free and doc­u­ments an unlike­ly vic­to­ry for envi­ron­men­tal justice.

The cam­era soars over moun­tain head­wa­ters, dives into schools of salmon, and cap­tures tur­bines grind­ing to a halt as the project takes shape. “Return of the Riv­er” fea­tures peo­ple and per­spec­tives on all sides of the Elwha debate, reflect­ing the many voic­es of the adja­cent val­ley. The com­mu­ni­ty comes to a con­sen­sus, set­ting the Elwha Riv­er free and show­ing the way to a more sus­tain­able future.

“The Mem­o­ry of Fish” was co-direct­ed by Sachi Cun­ning­ham and Jen­nifer Galvin. The salmon of Washington’s Elwha Riv­er sus­tained Dick Goin for the first half of his life.  He and his fam­i­ly had been nour­ished by these salmon since migrat­ing to the Olympic Penin­su­la dur­ing the Dust Bowl. 

But since 1913, when a dam with­out any fish pas­sages was con­struct­ed across the riv­er, the salmon pop­u­la­tion had declined to less than 90% of its for­mer size.  Goin nev­er for­got his debt to the salmon and spent the last half of his life fight­ing to bring these fish back to the riv­er.  A pulp mill work­er and mas­ter fish­er­man by trade, he drew on his mem­o­ries and per­sis­tence to bat­tle for the biggest dam removal project in U.S. his­to­ry. “The Mem­o­ry of Fish” paints a doc­u­men­tary por­trait of the hero­ism of one man with a mis­sion: to bring the salmon home.

“Dolores” was direct­ed by Peter Bratt. Dolores Huer­ta is among the most impor­tant, yet least known, activists in Amer­i­can his­to­ry. An equal part­ner in co-found­ing the first farm work­ers unions with Cesar Chavez, her enor­mous con­tri­bu­tions have gone large­ly unrecognized.

Dolores tire­less­ly led the fight for racial and labor jus­tice along­side Chavez, becom­ing one of the most defi­ant fem­i­nists of the twen­ti­eth century—and she con­tin­ues the fight to this day, at 87. With inti­mate and unprece­dent­ed access to this intense­ly pri­vate moth­er to eleven, the film reveals the raw, per­son­al stakes involved in com­mit­ting one’s life to social change.

“Ris­ing from the Ash­es” was direct­ed by Shane Ander­son. Less than six years ago, the sec­ond of two dams on the Elwha Riv­er, on Washington’s Olympic Penin­su­la, was tak­en out to pro­vide access for fish to the upper riv­er locat­ed in the Olympic Nation­al Park. Since then, we have wit­nessed a remark­able trans­for­ma­tion of the riv­er – and of the wildlife that depends on it.

In cel­e­bra­tion of Inter­na­tion­al Women’s Month, Dolores Huer­ta will par­tic­i­pate in a free livestream Q&A at 3 p.m. Sat­ur­day, March 27. Join online at fhff.org.  It will be record­ed to enable those who can’t par­tic­i­pate to watch free online. Fur­ther infor­ma­tion about her is avail­able at the Dolores Huer­ta Foun­da­tion and at Dolores Huer­ta Social Jus­tice Net­work.

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Categories: Arts, Entertainment

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