The US Army Corps of Engineers lists a heaping pile of 79,000+ dams in its nationwide inventory (NID). But those numbers are changing, for the better. DamNation—a Felt Soul, Stoecker Ecological, and Patagonia effort—documents the down-with-dams groundswell with its world premier at SXSW today.
“This powerful film odyssey across America explores the sea change in our national attitude from pride in big dams as engineering wonders to the growing awareness that our own future is bound to the life and health of our rivers. Dam removal has moved beyond the fictional Monkey Wrench Gang to go mainstream. Where obsolete dams come down, rivers bound back to life, giving salmon and other wild fish the right of return to primeval spawning grounds, after decades without access. DamNation¹s majestic cinematography and unexpected discoveries move through rivers and landscapes altered by dams, but also through a metamorphosis in values, from conquest of the natural world to knowing ourselves as part of nature.”