As part of the occasional “Movie Night at the Hatchery” series, the Downeast Salmon Federation will show DamNation at the East Machias Aquatic Research Center. This event is free and open to the public, and will also feature conservation hatchery tours and free popcorn.
DamNation, directed by Ben Knight and Travis Rummel and with Maine’s own Yvon Chouinard as the executive producer, premiered at the 2014 South by SouthWest (SxSW) and received the Audience Choice Award, as well as widespread critical acclaim.
This film is beautifully and professionally produced, and features impressive footage from across the country. It has also catalyzed a push toward the removal of “deadbeat dams” that are no longer in use but still have huge environmental consequences. This film is of great relevance locally and is full of dashing close-up footage of massive salmon. Its high production value is reminiscent of Sir David Attenborough’s Planet Earth series.
“This powerful film odyssey across America explores the sea change in our national attitude from pride in big dams as engineering wonders to the growing awareness that our own future is bound to the life and health of our rivers. Dam removal has moved beyond the fictional Monkey Wrench Gang to go mainstream. Where obsolete dams come down, rivers bound back to life, giving salmon and other wild fish the right of return to primeval spawning grounds, after decades without access. DamNation’s majestic cinematography and unexpected discoveries move through rivers and landscapes altered by dams, but also through a metamorphosis in values, from conquest of the natural world to knowing ourselves as part of nature.”