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Water Front, The

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School Bd/College/University DVD: $250
K-12 Single School DVD: $95
Public Library (HUO) DVD: $59.95


Grade Level: SrH-Adult
Producer: Red Lizard Media
Closed Captioned: No
Running Time: 53 mins
Country of Origin: Canada
Study Guide: Online See Link Below

Copyright Date: 2007
Available in French: Yes

What if you lived by the largest body of fresh water in the world but could no longer afford to use it?

With a shrinking population, the post-industrial city of Highland Park, Michigan is on the verge of financial collapse. The state of Michigan has appointed an Emergency Financial Manager who sees the water plant as key to economic recovery. She has raised water rates and has implemented severe measures to collect on bills. As a result, Highland Park residents have received water bills as high as $10,000, they have had their water turned off, their homes foreclosed, and are struggling to keep water, a basic human right, from becoming privatized.

The Water Front is the story of an American city in crisis but it is not just about water. The story touches on the very essence of our democratic system and is an unnerving indication of what is in store for residents around the world facing their own water struggles.

The film raises questions such as: Who determines the future of shared public resources? What are alternatives to water privatization? How will we maintain our public water systems and who can we hold accountable?


4 extra short films including interviews with Maude Barlow, Vivenne Bennett, and an award-winning 7-minute version of the film.
Language options are Spanish, French, and English captions for the deaf and hard of hearing.

"This water issue is so profound I had no idea that we would be engaged in this horrific fight to have water acknowledged as a human right."
- Maureen Taylor, Michigan Welfare Rights

“Astutely crafted, The Water Front instantly evokes intrigue, compassion and at times outrage toward the issues and characters presented. The films' engaging narrative will certainly captivate a wide audience and serve as an ideal educational tool. No matter your ideological position, this film clearly defines the relevant and global concerns we face about water today.”
- Colleen Ayoup, Project Coordinator Citizen Shift, National Film Board of Canada

  • Best of the Festival, Hazel Wolf Environmental Film Festival;
  • Katherine Knight Award, EarthVision Environmental Film Festival;
  • Best Water & Wetlands Film (Ramsar/Medwet Award), Ecofilms Rodos International Film and Visual Arts Festival;

Screened at:
  • Margaret Mead Film & Video Festival;
  • Society for Visual Anthropology, American Anthropological Association, Film Festival Environmental Film Festival In The Nation's Capital;
  • Planet In Focus International Environmental Film Festival;
  • Rencontres Internationales Documentary Film Festival, Montreal;
  • Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival;
  • 3R's (Restoration, Revolution, Resurrection) Festival;
  • Anthropology Film Festival at UBC; Human Rights Film Festival, Paris;
  • Salem Film Festival; Northhampton Film Festival;
  • Princeton Environmental Film Festival;
  • San Francisco Black Film Festival;
  • Environmental Film Festival of Catalonia, Barcelona

Links: http://waterfrontmovie.com/

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