ecology

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE
Surviving the Dust Bowl

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: Surviving the Dust Bowl

 

THE DUST BOWL chronicles the worst man-made ecological disaster in American history, in which the frenzied wheat boom of the “Great Plow-Up,” followed by a decade-long drought during the 1930s nearly swept away the breadbasket of the nation. Vivid interviews with twenty-six survivors of those hard times, combined with dramatic photographs and seldom seen movie footage, bring to life stories of incredible human suffering and equally incredible human perseverance. It is also a morality tale about our relationship to the land that sustains us—a lesson we ignore at our peril.

 

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INDEPENDENT LENS
Rodents of Unusual Size

INDEPENDENT LENS: Rodents of Unusual Size

 

Louisiana residents south of New Orleans have faced many an environmental threat, from oil spills to devastating hurricanes. But a growing menace now lurks in the bayous and backwaters: hordes of monstrous 20-pound swamp rats known as nutria. The voracious appetite of this invasive species from South America is accelerating erosion of the state’s coastal wetlands, already one of the largest disappearing landmasses in the world. But the people who have lived there for generations are not the type of folks to give up without a fight.

 

The film features a feisty mix of rejuvenated trappers, adventurous chefs, bold fashionistas, exotic pet enthusiasts, and more. This joyful take on an ecological menace reveals in equal parts our impact on the environment and the local’s surprising solutions to save their land before it dissolves beneath their feet. It is human 2r22vs. rodent — may the best mammal win.

 

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NATURE
The Last Orangutan Eden

 

Ecologist Chris Morgan travels to the jungles of Northern Sumatra to document the efforts to save its wild orangutan population, which is quickly dwindling due to deforestation. Morgan spends time with orphaned orangs at rehabilitation centers observing the process of teaching them the survival skills they’ll need to be released back into the wild. He also travels to a peat swamp forest known as Suaq Balimbing to work with a team of experienced researchers. Morgan is immersed in a unique social band of wild orangs that uses tools, shares food, forages together and creates their own distinct culture. Advanced cameras follow the orangs throughout the canopy to provide an intimate, clear picture of how these arboreal apes spend their days and nights and interact with one another.