Wednesday, February 17, 2016

DamNation - 2 stars out of 10

DamNation - 2 stars out of 10

"DamNation" is a lesson in the conservationist views on the protection of rivers and wildlife.  The best part of the film is its clever title.  The rest of the film comes off as a one-sided argument with a sense of superiority.  The arrogance of these filmmakers can be felt in every line of narration.  A persuasive film can equally represent both sides but the lack of diversity in this documentary makes it feel like propaganda.  While they make interesting points about lives that have been lost through dam malfunctions, a reduced salmon population, and the effects on the ecosystem, they ignore the fact that electricity is the commodity that allowed them to edit their documentary.  The focus of this documentary is very confused.  Is it about the history of dams being built in the United States?  Is it about saving the salmon?  Is it about graffiti artists?  Is it a caper film?  It explores a variety of topics without clearly tying them in to the film’s thesis.  They mention that the only reason not to destroy all of the dams at once is because it would be too expensive, but perhaps we should also consider that a balance is necessary to provide our country with enough electricity.  "DamNation" is informative if you would like to learn the environmentalist opinion on the issue of dams (and if you would like to hear a guy tell a ten-minute story about painting the side of a dam), but this is not the place to turn for a representation of both sides of this argument.

[Pictured: The graffiti is cool, but it is just one of many topics discussed without a clear connection to the film's thesis.]

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