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Saving The Great Swamp: Battle to Defeat the Jetport is a new one-hour documentary about the events, people and politics behind the struggle to preserve a rural area of New Jersey between 1959 and 1968. The fight began when the powerful Port of New York Authority announced plans to construct a huge 10,000 acre "j...
Saving The Great Swamp: Battle to Defeat the Jetport is a new one-hour documentary about the events, people and politics behind the struggle to preserve a rural area of New Jersey between 1959 and 1968. The fight began when the powerful Port of New York Authority announced plans to construct a huge 10,000 acre "jetport" 26 miles west of New York City in a little-known place called the Great Swamp. In the name of progress, entire towns would be o...
Saving The Great Swamp: Battle to Defeat the Jetport is a new one-hour documentary about the events, people and politics behind the struggle to preserve a rural area of New Jersey between 1959 and 1968. The fight began when the powerful Port of New York Authority announced plans to construct a huge 10,000 acre "jetport" 26 miles west of New York City in a little-known place called the Great Swamp. In the name of progress, entire towns would be obliterated, the aquifer and wildlife destroyed, and a way-of-life threatened for thousands of people.
The events that followed became one of the most defining environmental confrontations of its time - a grassroots movement that started in a local high school and grew to historic proportions. It was a battle that took almost a decade, a President and an Act of Congress to stop, and ultimately led to the creation of a national treasure - the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.
Two years in the making, Saving The Great Swamp: Battle to Defeat the Jetport was produced and directed by award-winning filmmaker Scott Morris, co-produced by Larry Fast and narrated by Blythe Danner. The film features in-depth interviews with residents, historians and officials, and a rich visual tapestry of historic film footage, old photographs and high-end cinematography of the Great Swamp today. The inspiring story continues to resonate as a model for community action in the face of powerful forces.Show more Show less
When the graves of former slaves are bulldozed in Mississippi, a native son returns to protect the community they settled.
'This powerful documentary illustrates a classic case of environmental injustice and exposes raw in-your-face Mississippi racial politics. The film shows a clear connection between exploitation of land and exploitation of people in modern day Mississippi. Turkey Creek residents may have survived slavery, Reconstruction and Jim Crow segregation, but they may not survive the modern onslaught of post-disaster 'recovery' after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the BP oil spill, and the maddening 'growth at any cost' push to develop North Gulfport. Come Hell or High Water is a perfect lesson that we are not living in a post-racial era.' Dr. Robert Bullard, Dean, School of Public Affairs, Texas Southern University, Author, Race, Place, and Environmental Justice After Hurricane Katrina
'A deeply moving depiction of the many layers of vulnerability that affect so many communities of color in the U.S. and the dedication and sacrifices required of those who fight for justice. Viewers of this film--including students of environmentalism, social movements and local politics--will gain a vivid understanding of the complexities of environmental justice and the ups and downs of grassroots struggles, which rarely come to neat, Hollywood endings. Indeed, Come Hell or High Water brings life to the words, Long is the struggle, hard the fight.' Dr. Melissa Checker, Assistant Professor of Urban Studies, Queens College, Author, Polluted Promises: Environmental Racism and the Search for Justice in a Southern Town
'A very powerful film. This film explores the nexus between two powerful and important facets of American life--the surging movement to restore rivers and preserve wetlands, and the quest for environmental justice. This is the story of how one man can energize an entire community and engage in a fierce David vs. Goliath struggle, and win. It explores the burgeoning connection between protecting the environment, and protecting culture, history, and the welfare of poor communities. It is impossible to watch this movie without being moved.' Daniel Craig McCool, Director, Environmental and Sustainability Studies Program, Professor, Political Science, University of Utah, Author, River Republic: The Rise and Fall of America's Rivers
'This is a well-made and wonderful film that touches on so many different yet completely interconnected subjects. I would use this film in several of my classes: Environmental and Sustainability Studies, US Environmental History, and the History of the South Since Emancipation. I will recommend it to colleagues in Political Science and in Urban Planning. I'm not a film critic, but I've certainly watched a lot of documentaries, and this one is just terrific.' Christopher Morris, Professor of History, University of Texas at Arlington, Author, The Big Muddy: An Environmental History of the Mississippi and Its Peoples from Hernando de Soto to Hurricane Katrina
'This inspiring film educates as it illustrates what powerful local resistance to destructive plans of outsiders looks like. It makes concrete the challenges of fighting for human rights and community respect, not only in the Deep South, but everywhere.' Bill Quigley, Professor of Law, Director of the Law Clinic and the Gillis Long Poverty Law Center, Loyola University-New Orleans
'I found The Battle for Turkey Creek a compelling story and not one isolated to Mississippi. As our Gulf Coast feels the benefit and burden of growing populations and economies, we are losing the cultures on which it was based and on what has drawn us to this very special place. There is both good and bad in that, I suppose, but the human cost is sad and often obscured as this documentary clearly portrays.' Dr. Larry D. McKinney, Executive Director, The Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi
'A unique and compelling look at how the disparate experiences of one member of the Turkey Creek diaspora are integrated to honor the history of an endangered community. The grit of this very personal portrayal can speak to secondary and post-secondary students and anyone interested in how environmental justice advocacy functions at a local level. The use of classrooms and civic institutions results in a film with high educational value. I would love to use this quality film in my classroom and other activist spaces.' Dr. Jasmine M. Waddell, Resident Dean of Freshmen, Harvard College, Visiting Scholar, Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University
'Turkey Creek is emblematic of so much of what is going on in the world right now, and that part of our country. These communities are not supposed to be considered resilient. These communities were not supposed to survive, but they've survived. And the solutions that they're coming up with are the solutions that we all really need to pay attention to and lift up.' Leslie Fields, Sierra Club director of Environmental Justice and Community Partnerships
'We highly recommend this documentary film about a middle school teacher who leads an environmental justice battle in a historic African American community in Mississippi.' Deborah Menkart, Executive Director, Teaching for Change
'Highly Recommended...What is remarkable about Turkey Creek is the surprising unity of its citizens in the face of lucrative buyouts...This is a well-told story about the clash of interests and ideals that accompany development. On the one side are the representatives of the new economy, who invariably justify their dominance by referring to themselves as agents of positive change. On the other side are the representatives of the older economy who lack the money of their opponents and are constantly characterized as enemies of progress. These clashing economic interests also align with historical racial divides, pitting rich and white development interests against the poorer black residents. The film succeeds in its aim to provoke maximum outrage in telling its story of greed, grass-roots activism, and racism.' Andrew Jenks, California State Univ. at Long Beach, Educational Media Reviews Online
'A powerful film for all those interested in social and environmental justice.' Stephen L. Hupp, West Virginia University, School Library Journal
'The language of power and oppression is omnipresent in Come Hell or High Water, and it doesn't get any better as Katrina pounds Gulfport in 2005. Still no better when the BP oil disaster happens five years after that. The documentary captures Turkey Creek's responses to all of these tragedies - and a few remarkable victories against the powers that be.' Brenton Mock, Grist
'This intimate film tells a gigantic story - about race, about power, about so-called development. But it is also a saga of community, resilience, resistance, and hope. It's about everything that matters in our society.' Bill Bigelow, Rethinking Schools
'A true-life saga of individual and group efforts to serve the cause of environmental justice in the wake of threats ranging from urban sprawl to natural disasters, Come Hell or High Water is passionate, involving, and will prompt the viewer to think.' The Midwest Book Review
'Despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Evans is determined to protect the community his forebears settled...Viewers will be touched by Evans' courage and self-sacrifice and gain insight into the region's historical, environmental, and racial issues.' Candace Smith, Booklist
'Filmmaker Leah Mahan discovers a memorable hero in longtime friend Derrick Evans during a 10-year story arc marked by activism, corporate greed, and race-tainted Deep South land grabs...The theme of 'environmental racism' surfaces in this saga, which concludes with the epic BP/Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster threatening Gulfport's ballyhooed beaches...A powerful story of one man's good fight, this is recommended.' C. Cassady, Video Librarian