Filmmakers Argue for Demolition of Dams Across the Country

Ben Knight (Left) and Matt Stoecker are two filmakers involved making DamNation, a movie that takes a critical look at the impacts of dams across the country.

Photo by Mose Buchele

Ben Knight (Left) and Matt Stoecker are two filmakers involved making DamNation, a movie that takes a critical look at the impacts of dams across the country.

The timing could not have been better for filmmakers Matt Stoecker and Ben Knight. Just weeks before their documentary on tearing down dams in the Pacific Northwest premiered at the South by Southwest Film festival, a huge crack was found in the Wanapum Dam in Washington State.

The discovery called attention to an often ignored aspect of America’s aging infrastructure. And that’s exactly what the activist filmmakers hope to do as. DamNation is a protest film, documenting the history of dam building in the country and highlighting environmental concerns. The filmmakers also chronicle acts of civil disobedience against certain dams, and some of them even appear to participate in those acts.

I sat down with co-producer Matt Stoecker and co–director Ben Knight to talk about the film and what activists hope to accomplish in standing against dams. Take a listen:

DamNation screens Friday at 7:00 PM at the Vimeo Theater at the Austin Convention Center as part of the South by Southwest Film Festival.

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