Director(s): Jacob Morrison
Writer(s): Jacob Morrison
Cast: Delanna Studi
Reviewed by: Ian Evans on
Release Date(s)Nov 2, 2021 - VOD
River’s End, a documentary by Jacob Morrison, will be premiering on a variety of VOD and on-demand cable platforms starting November 2nd, 2021. The documentary looks at the battle over the water of the California Bay Delta.
The struggle over this water goes back to the early 1900s, when huge tracts of land in the Owens Valley were quietly bought up by developers and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to divert much of the water to the rapidly growing city of Los Angeles. Even at that early stage, the water diversion threatened the livelihoods of local farmers and began drying up a once fertile valley. Violence erupted, but the march of economic “progress” was not to be stopped. LA was not the only recipient of the water, as much of the Northern California water was also diverted to irrigate the massive corporate farms of inland Southern California. These massive operations are mostly growing almonds, a water-thirsty crop that isn’t even going to US mouths, as 80% of the profit-rich harvest ends up in China and the Middle East. The latest proposals aim to build a massive pipeline network to take even more water, further threatening not just wildlife and natural beauty but also the livelihoods of Delta area family farms and salmon fisheries.
In a highly-divided country, you might be excused for thinking this would be a battle between cash-first Republicans and tree-hugging Democrats. While pea-brained GOPers like Devin Nunes and the Orange Stain do make an appearance comparing jobs to the life of a two inch fish, many of these newer projects have been shepherded by Democratic governors Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom. Money is not Red or Blue, it’s green and everyone is open to it. The doc examines all of this and the revolving door that sees corporate farm lobbyists end up in government jobs and vice versa.
River’s End takes a deep dive into this still volatile question of the balance between environment and economy, family and industrial farming, and corporate and human needs. Recommended.