Sneak Peak of Come Hell or High Water: The Battle for Turkey Creek, Sunday at 10:15 am in room 407
Q&A with filmmaker Leah Mahan, film subject/Gulf Coast organizer Derrick Evans and other contributors to BridgeTheGulfProject.org
Come Hell or High Water: The Battle for Turkey Creek follows the painful but inspiring journey of Derrick Evans, a Boston teacher who moves home to coastal Mississippi when the graves of his ancestors are bulldozed to make way for the sprawling city of Gulfport. Over the course of a decade, Derrick and his neighbors stand up to powerful corporate interests and politicians and face ordeals including Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil disaster in their struggle for self-determination and environmental justice.
“This intimate film tells a gigantic story — about race, power and so-called development. But it is also a saga of community, resilience, resistance, and hope. It’s about everything that matters in our society.” –BILL BIGELOW, Rethinking Schools
Turkey Creek residents are descendants of emancipated slaves who settled on the Gulf Coast in the 1860s. They have been stewards of the creeks rich wetland habitat for generations, and have farmed, fished, hunted and been baptized along its banks. Today, Turkey Creek is surrounded by an airport, a Walmart, highways and an industrial canal that threaten the community and its fragile wetlands.
This is an inspirational story of how one community banded together to save their land and culture. Filmmaker Leah Mahan worked with Derrick Evans and the Gulf Coast Fund for Community Renewal and Ecological Health to create an interactive website and network of bloggers called Bridge the Gulf. This network links environmental justice activists, writers and others concerned about resource extraction, climate change and a sustainable future for the Gulf Coast region.
The film will be screened as part of the Reel Power film series at Power Shift today at 10:15 am in room 407 with a Q&A with filmmaker Leah Mahan and film subject/Gulf Coast organizer Derrick Evans; Bridge The Gulf Project organizer Cherri Foytlin; and T.E.J.A.S. (Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services) organizer Bryan Parras.
Come Hell or High Water premiered this month at the New Orleans Film Festival. Currently a network of Gulf Coast community leaders and national environmental and civil rights organizations are planning a series of screenings of the film at regional and national convenings of community leaders, activists, academics and philanthropists working on environmental justice, human rights and sustainable development.
Watch the film, discuss the issues and sign up to bring the film to your campus or community.
Find more about Reel Power films at Reel-Power.org.