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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Blue Gold and the Silver Screen

On February 20, 2009, River Alliance staff and friends attended the Beloit International Film Festival for the Wisconsin screening of water documentary Blue Gold: World Water Wars. Described by as "a water film that kicks ass!", Blue Gold follows the worldwide fight for access to water from Africa to Mexico to our own backyard: New Haven, Wisconsin. This small rural town holds the big distinction of being the only community to show Nestle the door when they tried to plunk a bottling plant atop their local spring water several years ago.

River Alliance enjoyed its five seconds of fame this night thanks to Helen Sarakinos who was a cast member of the fim. But more importantly, we got to publicly celebrate our own homegrown David-and-Goliath tale of local citizens protecting their water from a ruthless multinational. Sometimes, the good guys do win.

Blue Gold filmmaker, Sam Bozzo (second from left) is joined by cast members Helen Sarakinos, John Steinhaus and Dave Krause at the Beloit International Film Festival.
We had the pleasure of being joined in Beloit by the filmmaker Sam Bozzo (welcome to Wisconsin, Sam!) as well as a few of the New Haven water warriors who made the long drive in threatening weather. While the fight for access to freshwater isn't always the stuff of cocktail party conversations, it was a pleasure to see it rendered so well on film. And critics agree, judging by the awards this little film is racking up.

The film is making the rounds of international film festivals including Pam Springs, Vancouver, Paris, Thessaloniki and Washington, DC. PBS is releasing the DVD and you can buy it here. Go see the movie, then give that kitchen faucet of yours a hug.

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