US 2021, 80 mins Director Emmett Brennan
Hope is the surprising emotional core of Sebastopol-based filmmaker Emmett Brennan’s poetic and soulful essay on the perilous state of California’s water ecosystems. Initially motivated by a profound sense of rage and helplessness over environmental devastation, Brennan takes an improbable approach: Instead of dwelling only on the catastrophic consequences of disrupting California’s water cycle (through decades of diversion, desertification, overdevelopment, and global warming), Reflection affirms the inspiring efforts of committed eco-visionaries who are restoring the natural and healing equilibrium that healthy water systems can bring. We meet Santa Rosa ranchers, Ojai farmers, L.A. greywater ecologists, and Sonoma soil gurus whose innovations (often based on ancient wisdom) point the way to a healthier water future. Threaded throughout is the filmmaker’s weeks-long walk along the path of the L.A. Aqueduct, which drained the Owens Valley: a fitting symbol of the price we’ve paid for building the Dream State. –Peter L. Stein
THURSDAY, OCT. 14 • SMITH RAFAEL FILM CENTER
We will be joined in person for an on-stage conversation with director Emmett Brennan, Co-Founder of the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center and Co-Director of the WATER Institute Brock Dolman, and Founder of Permaculture Artisans and the Permaculture Skills Center,Erik Ohlsen.