When DamNation gets started, it seems like a simple activism documentary about the harsh realities of damns, the threats they pose to our nation's fish, and the political and financial powers that would stand in our way of removing them. But as the movie progresses, something really cool becomes clear, the public perception of these damns has changed since the filmmakers began production... And they clearly went out of their way to address this change.
Ben Knight and Travis Rummel have made a very interesting film. And it's not exactly what you'd expect. Sure, it goes through the progressions of many other docs... a couple guys trying to make their point in the most ridiculous way possible, but it branches out. I can honestly say that I was caught up in the journey because the people they interviewed were so poetic and concise in their own purposes. The cinematography only helps their cause, and ultimately it becomes more an open love letter to the fish we've been keeping away for all of this time.
It's really exciting to witness such a shift in peoples' perceptions of something that could have been stuck in neutral for a lot more time. But I think the greatest point this film makes, is the things we had to do in the past to help our community grow and thrive may ware away and lose their value once their initial purpose has been served. In that respect I think this film can serve to say something about more than just the dam infrastructure... and I think there is a welcome metaphor in this for another faulty institution in our country... public roads and the highway system. But that's just my own prerogative.
DamNation is definitely worth your time. And it's really easy to catch on Netflix, so check it out.