blue gold

Water Documentaries, Game Place Environmental Issues Front and Center

navigational lock 

An Army Corps of Engineers navigational lock near Wallisville at the mouth of the Trinity River.

From "Blue Gold" to "City Rain," today's film directors and game designers are using their media to engage and encourage people to become more aware of the sustainability issues affecting the planet.

"Blue Gold: World Water Wars" by Sam Bozzo is an award-winning documentary everyone should see (I saw it using Netflix's instant streaming service last weekend). This independent filmmaker names names and touches on such issues as desertification, privatization, and water rights. Note: People die violently, and the images are graphic. You may not agree with the message, but you should at least know about it.

I have yet to see this year's Oscar-winning documentary, "The Cove." In this film, after meeting with Ric O'Barry (a former dolphin trainer for "Flipper"), director Louie Psihoyos and his crew travel to Taiji, Japan. In an isolated cove, they secretly record local fishermen who use sonar to confuse and trap dolphins that are sold to aquariums or slaughtered and sold as whale meat, which contains mercury. Have you seen it? Thumbs up or down?

The Public Broadcasting Station, KERA-TV, in North Texas is airing, "Living with the Trinity" on April 20. The one-hour documentary explores the period from 1965 to 1973 when the Trinity River was nearly transformed into a barge canal that would go from North Texas to the Gulf of Mexico. The issue brought national attention to Texas. It seems as if this one is for the history buffs. Any projects like this in your watershed?

And finally, Ovolo Games in Montreal last year released "City Rain," a downloadable PC game that merges traditional video game play with sustainable themes. According to the press release, players are members of an elite environmental SWAT Force in charge of restructuring cities before they are penalized by the World Environment Protection agency (if only it were that easy). I could see my son getting into this much more than seeing him attend the Live Green Expo on Earth Day. We have to reach people, especially young people, where they live; it's just too bad they don't live outside anymore.

Posted by L.K. Williams, EPonline on Apr 13, 2010

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