Documentary Film Screening: SoLa: Louisiana Water Stories

Sat., May 14 in Koret Auditorium

Contact: Michelle Jeffers
(415) 557-4282;

April 21, 2011

Documentary Film Screening: SoLa:  Louisiana Water Stories

May 14, San Francisco Main Library

San Francisco Public Library’s Business Science and Technology Center presents the award winning documentary film, SoLa: Louisiana Water Stories, which investigates how the exploitation of Southern Louisiana's abundant natural resources compromised the resiliency of its ecology and culture, multiplying the devastating impact of the BP oil spill and Hurricane Katrina. The screening will be Saturday, May 14, 2-3:30 p.m., in the San Francisco Main Library’s Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin St.

Everywhere you look in Southern Louisiana there is water: rivers, bayous, swamps, the Mississippi River, the Gulf of Mexico. Everyone in Cajun Country has a water story, or two or three or more. Its waterways support the biggest economies in Louisiana - a $70 billion a year oil and gas industry, a $2.4 billion a year fishing business, tourism and recreational sports.

The region is also home to some insidious polluters: the same oil and gas industry, 200 petrochemical plants along a 100-mile-long stretch of the Mississippi known "Cancer Alley," the world's largest Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico and erosion that is costing the coastline 25 square miles of wetlands a year. At the same time, SoLa is home to one of America's most vital and unique cultures; if everyone who lives there has a water story they can also most likely play the fiddle, waltz, cook an étoufée and hunt and fish.

SoLa: Louisiana Water Stories is a poignant look back at a way of life that may now be gone forever, and a prescient view at exactly how the gusher in the Gulf was allowed to happen. Thanks to corruption, malfeasance and the Louisiana industrial and political climate, environmental pollution seems to be simply a cost of doing business.

Critical praise for the film:

"A great crash course that deftly addresses the ecological, economic and social issues facing Louisiana." David Burley, Asst. Professor of Sociology, Southeastern Louisiana University

"This is a superb treatment of how the oil and gas industry threatens not just a way of life in southern Louisiana but life itself. Water is the centerpiece of cultural and ecological health in and around New Orleans and it is being ruined, slowly, by neglect and greed. SoLa should be a wakeup call for the country." Lee Clarke, Professor, Department of Sociology, Rutgers University, Author, Worst Cases: Terror and Catastrophe in the Popular Imagination

All programs at the Library are free

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