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Rock the Boat

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School Bd/College/University DVD: $225
K-12 Single School DVD: $100


Grade Level: SrH-Adult
Producer: Video Project
Closed Captioned: Yes
Running Time: 54 mins
Country of Origin: United States
Study Guide: No

Copyright Date: 2012
Available in French: No

Paris has the Seine, London has the Thames, and Los Angeles has the concreted 51 mile L.A. River. Rock the Boat is an entertaining look at the history and impact of the L.A. River – made famous in Hollywood movies – and how cities might reimagine and reclaim their once-natural resources to benefit urban areas today.

When a government agency decides that the derided waterway is not worthy of environmental protection, a biologist becomes a whistle blower, a writer trades pen for paddle, and together with others they change the course of history in a local battle with national significance.

For the past hundred years we've built our cities and roads, factories, dams and agricultural centers wherever we've wanted to, our engineering often triumphing over the natural lay of the land, more balanced design and even common sense. With climate change and an impending worldwide water crisis, we are now forced to examine the impact on nature of our urban lifestyle. Nowhere is this battle better illustrated than in Los Angeles – a dream city turned into nightmare sprawl. And nothing epitomizes man's efforts to reshape the face of the earth better than the L.A. River: used, abused and forgotten, it is now at the center of a major vision to transform this hermetically-sealed metropolis into a more sustainable model city for the 21st century.

With striking images of the L.A. River, insightful interviews and a soft spot for humor, Rock the Boat documents the intrepid fight to renew the river and the city itself, and affirms the power of committed individuals to jump-start that change.
Scene Selection • Closed Captioned
“George Wolfe’s simple act of boating on the LA River becomes a political movement. This film tells the story with wit and aplomb, sheds light on the ridiculous, and reminds us that we all have the power to do what we know is right.” – Wild & Scenic Film Festival

"Rock the Boat looks at the river’s past, with its years of neglect and mismanagement, and at its very real dream of a future with an optimistic heart and a realistic eye.”
– Richard Pearce, co-producer “Food Inc.”

“The film is amazing! It was refreshing to watch activism end with a positive outcome, not only for the community, but for our natural resources. “
– Alexis Oliar, Executive Director, Mountain Area Preservation

"A delightful, informative film. Rock the Boat offers a positive and inspiring story of a small group of committed people whose actions, playful and smart, are forcing the government to clean up and restore the Los Angeles River." 
– John de Graaf, author, PBS documentary director.


People’s Choice Award, Wild & Scenic Film Festival
ISLA Earth Award, Catalina Film Festival
Best Feature Film, FILManthropy Film Festival

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