Athena Cinema, Environmental Studies, and the Alden Library present the sixth year of the Sustainability Film Series, working in partnership with many sponsors. Our vision and goal are those of years past: to offer attendees the opportunity to acquire a deeper understanding of the current issues related to global environmental and sustainable challenges and solutions. We aim to bring together students, faculty and regional community members. The program recognizes the strength of this integration, coming together and learning from each other. Following each screening, we invite audience members to join us for a panel discussion hosted by faculty members, students, and community members. Please join us for a conversation following these beautiful, thought-provoking and timely films. All admissions free.
Water Warriors (22 mins)
When an energy company begins searching for natural gas in New Brunswick, Canada, indigenous and white families unite to drive out the company in a campaign to protect their water and way of life. Texas-based SWN Resources arrived in New Brunswick, Canada to explore for natural gas. The region is known for its forestry, farming and fishing industries, which are both commercial and small-scale subsistence operations that rural communities depend on. In response, a multicultural group of unlikely warriors–including members of the Mi’kmaq Elsipogtog First Nation, French-speaking Acadians and white, English-speaking families–set up a series of road blockades, preventing exploration. After months of resistance, their efforts not only halted drilling; they elected a new government and won an indefinite moratorium on fracking in the province.
From Flint: Voices From a Poisoned City (25 mins)
From Flint goes beyond the news headlines to spotlight the impact of the devastating water contamination crisis on the people of Flint, Michigan. The film highlights the stories of residents who were personally injured, along with the work of local organizations and individuals that rallied to support them. Flint is a city of 100,000 people, with 41% living below the poverty line and an African-American majority. The city switched in 2014 to water from the polluted Flint River to save money, but the new water supply wasn’t properly treated. Lead from aging lines leached into the local water supply, along with coliform bacteria and other contaminants, creating a serious health crisis. Up to 12,000 children may have been exposed to high levels of lead in their drinking water. Some residents were also forced to abandon their homes without warning. Residents describe their personal struggles, including the serious medical issues that afflicted them — seizures, rashes, problems affecting newborns and young children –as well as their anger over a government that continually failed to protect them. The citizens of Flint make their displeasure known through emotional testimonies to officials about the impact on children and families, as well as through large, peaceful protests. The film also highlights how residents and local organizations have come together to help and support one another through the crisis.