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Has everyone seen this yet? Dropped last week.


“We pray for the rains to come, for the snow to fall, for moisture in the earth. Not just for the Hopi, but for everybody. For every living thing that’s out there.” – Howard Dennis, Hopi Elder

The Green and Colorado river systems form the backbone of the American West. Once spanning a 1,450-mile journey from the Rocky Mountains to the Gulf of California, today, none of the sediment-rich water reaches the Pacific Ocean. Instead, its water lies stymied in reservoirs and siphoned off to feed and nurture 40 million people from Salt Lake to Los Angeles. One hundred and fifty years after John Wesley Powell’s historic descent of the Green and Colorado rivers, an unlikely crew of scientists, artists, educators, and river lovers repeated his journey on a trip that was simultaneously a celebration of modern river life and a critical look at how we interpret the Colorado River’s history and use its waters. As the demand we place on the water of the Colorado continues to exceed its supply, we are forced to face uncomfortable truths about decisions made in our past. And we are reminded that the way we think about water—and all those dependent upon it—needs to shift if we want things to change for our future.

“Water is a life force for all of us. It has a spiritual and physical being to it that deserves respect. It’s not something that you take for granted.” – Lyle Balenquah, Hopi archaeologist
Thought it might provoke a worthwhile winter discussion....can we keep it from going off the rails?
 

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Initial impressions: I liked it but didn't love it. I think it tried to be too many things. A buddy river video, an expedition video, a river documentary, a science video, a tribal documentary...but it was none of those things on their own and it didn't weave them very well together.
I liked the individual footage. The interviews were generally good, but it had jarring transitions between interview footage and river footage.

I really really really enjoyed the Howard Dennis interview. I think a movie could be shot with all tribal storytellers telling their own stories all the way down the river and it would be incredible.

Yet the cameos with the senior white river guides was 'meh'. So..there are lots of senior white river guides and we've heard most of their stories..which are interesting but detracted from this movie

I didn't understand the interview with the artist. He talked about it like an unfinished "project" but we never saw any finished art.


It was interesting that J.W.Powell was vilified a couple times in the movie. I don't think he was a flawless individual for sure, but I also feel he was vilified for things that he actually tried to do right. He tried to warn the growing American government that there wasn't enough water in the west, yet he also headed up the fledgling USGS and helped draw the map that people used to move west. He was painted in the movie as a foe to the natives, yet he founded the bureau of ethnology and tried to help them tell their story.

There are FAR worse villains who weren't mentioned...like General George Crook, General Nelson Miles, or Kit Carson who actively pursued the Government's genocidal policies or later Floyd Dominy who was the architect of the free-flowing river's destruction.



I was confused by the planting of beans scene. What?
And the footage on the two swimmers did little for me. For a river documentary, it just distracted from the main storyline.


Is this a good movie for an uninformed viewer?
Have I read too much, did I expect too much?

I think I'm going to re-watch it. There's a lot to unpack and discuss.
 

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I'll probably try again.... but I had to stop two minutes into it with the gratuitous slow motion raft rigging scene. It felt like one of those films that was gonna make everything seem more dramatic and challenging when the reality of that trip was that it was pretty much just like any other river trip most of us have been on.

Obviously I could be wrong and I probably need to tone down my cynicism a little and give it another chance. Sounds like there are some really interesting bits in it that are worth watching, but not sure I need to hear much of a bunch of river guides waxing poetic about their connection to the river and the history.

I'll likely skim through it and watch the interesting stuff at some point. I mentioned my thoughts to a friend... and his reaction was "Documentaries aren't really meant for the people who participate" and I think that is a very pertinent comment to this film. I'm sure the average person who has never been to the area or run a river will likely find this interesting... for those of us who have and know some of the history... its pretty easy to poke holes in stuff.
 

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I'm in the background in a few scenes. In hindsight wished I would of done more then just Ladore. But taking months off and being a boatmen for a more liberal crowd kind of scared me. Though the people that were on the Gates section were awesome. Glad they used some stuff from Noel, guy is a great story teller. Glad I got to be part of it and Jess inviting me.
 

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I enjoyed it. Saw some of those folks floating the dolores last summer they were super chill and seem to be doing alot for river conservation even if the film didnt hit everyones fancy. I just like watching rafting stuff even if its slow motion rigging scenes haha
 

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I didn’t love it, but I was appreciative of being able to burn two hours watching rafting footage during a particularly cold spell in CO. It wandered too much for me and I don’t particularly understand the whole art theme, nor did it do much to raise any awareness for the watershed that wasn’t already widely known. The beans being planted was super corny too. I’m jealous of being able to spend 50+ days on the water though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Of course they didn't credit my buddy who delivered their replacement motor, showed/helped them replace it and hauled out their dead one...
That sucks.

But I actually looked closely to see if it was you. :D

not sure I need to hear much of a bunch of river guides waxing poetic about their connection to the river and the history.
True that. Yet they had an opportunity to tell a story from a new perspective...but didn't.


"Documentaries aren't really meant for the people who participate" and I think that is a very pertinent comment to this film.
Interesting and generally true....but following my viewing last night, YouTube popped up the video "Martin's Boat" which I've already seen 6 times and I already have a dory and understand the dory magic... yet I watched it again and enjoyed it. I'll probably go back and rewatch Doryland





I'm in the background in a few scenes. In hindsight wished I would of done more then just Ladore. But taking months off and being a boatmen for a more liberal crowd kind of scared me. Though the people that were on the Gates section were awesome. Glad they used some stuff from Noel, guy is a great story teller. Glad I got to be part of it and Jess inviting me.
Eh, depends on how people handle their politics on the river. Most river runners tend toward liberal, I also have conservative friends and a few who share my angry libertarian proclivities. If we can have an informative and respectful conversation, I fully welcome it. If people want to browbeat others about their opinions, they're probably highly opinionated about other things and don't make good tripmates in general.

The drone footage of Lodore/Echo Park was absolutely stunning.


What was the story of the trip while it was ongoing? Was the video a story they set out to tell from the beginning, or the story that evolved during the trip, or was there a different tone within the actual trip?
 

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In regards to the film, I'll take any river content. Was it perfect? No. Has there been a perfect river film that encapsulates all topics that involve rivers? I haven't seen it. And don't you even think about throwing Burt Reynolds and Merrl Streep's names out. Entertaining, possibly. Accurate depiction of rivers, not close.

Also, they didn't mention the introduction of tamarisk, and it's impacts.

And how did they get thru Gates or Deso/Grays and not have 1 mention of mosquitoes???

All the same, I'll share it on socials because even with imperfections it's still better content than housewives of roaring fork valley.
 

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Product placement is THE most important part of any video content these days so...
Well, that and pushing the narrative.
 

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Eh, depends on how people handle their politics on the river. Most river runners tend toward liberal, I also have conservative friends and a few who share my angry libertarian proclivities. If we can have an informative and respectful conversation, I fully welcome it. If people want to browbeat others about their opinions, they're probably highly opinionated about other things and don't make good tripmates in general.


The drone footage of Lodore/Echo Park was absolutely stunning.


What was the story of the trip while it was ongoing? Was the video a story they set out to tell from the beginning, or the story that evolved during the trip, or was there a different tone within the actual trip?
I raft with a pretty diverse crowd. When Jess initially invited me it was for the Cat and Grand section. When I got on the Powell web site reading a lot of the bios were CU/Boulder academic types. You know how you know someone is from Boulder? Don't worry it'll be the first thing they talk about.
Working in coal industry I get a lot of shit for it from people like that. I can tolerate it on a short trip but when you're on a 16 day Grand trip schlepping gear and people.Being told you're everything wrong with the world its going to get to you.
The people on the Ladore section were great. The two professors on the section were very frank on how the west was won and pretty much said this is what happened. They didn't vilify anyone and didn't paint the picture of peace love and harmony before whity showed up. USGS was also a participant in it so the entire trip people were conducting different research projects.

The movie is Rig to Flip/Cody and Bens takeaway. For me Tom didn't have a agenda. He invited a lot of different people from the arts and academics to just reflect on the Grand Canyon ,Powell's journey, what we've lost and gained in the 150 years and how the canyon fits into the 21 century. Cody and Ben really narrowed in on a small portion I really hope in the future more of the footage is used and more of the people on the trip are showcased.

As far as sponsorship goes I don't think NRS was even involved with the trip. All the frames and sewn goods came from Down River Equipment. I gave Tom shit about Yeti and said it should of been Canyon Coolers he laughed and said Yeti was the first one to respond to the email. Ceiba handle all of the food pack. It was kind of weird just to show up to a put-in and hop on a brand new boat. They even had a brand new paco and chair for me. Being me I totally derigged and rerigged the boat at Ladore boat ramp in the morning while everyone else was doing there science talks at the gates. I was also informed I was rowing a bomb down the river.Since it had all the chemicals for the black and white photos Bailey was taking. Every night he had a miniature dark room he'd setup on a table and develope the glass plates.
 

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I raft with a pretty diverse crowd. When Jess initially invited me it was for the Cat and Grand section. When I got on the Powell web site reading a lot of the bios were CU/Boulder academic types. You know how you know someone is from Boulder? Don't worry it'll be the first thing they talk about.
Working in coal industry I get a lot of shit for it from people like that. I can tolerate it on a short trip but when you're on a 16 day Grand trip schlepping gear and people.Being told you're everything wrong with the world its going to get to you.
The people on the Ladore section were great. The two professors on the section were very frank on how the west was won and pretty much said this is what happened. They didn't vilify anyone and didn't paint the picture of peace love and harmony before whity showed up. USGS was also a participant in it so the entire trip people were conducting different research projects.

The movie is Rig to Flip/Cody and Bens takeaway. For me Tom didn't have a agenda. He invited a lot of different people from the arts and academics to just reflect on the Grand Canyon ,Powell's journey, what we've lost and gained in the 150 years and how the canyon fits into the 21 century. Cody and Ben really narrowed in on a small portion I really hope in the future more of the footage is used and more of the people on the trip are showcased.

As far as sponsorship goes I don't think NRS was even involved with the trip. All the frames and sewn goods came from Down River Equipment. I gave Tom shit about Yeti and said it should of been Canyon Coolers he laughed and said Yeti was the first one to respond to the email. Ceiba handle all of the food pack. It was kind of weird just to show up to a put-in and hop on a brand new boat. They even had a brand new paco and chair for me. Being me I totally derigged and rerigged the boat at Ladore boat ramp in the morning while everyone else was doing there science talks at the gates. I was also informed I was rowing a bomb down the river.Since it had all the chemicals for the black and white photos Bailey was taking. Every night he had a miniature dark room he'd setup on a table and develope the glass plates.
Thank you!

It would be interesting to hear more from those Lodore professors. I'm starting to appreciate "real" American history more and more. What really happened? How did it happen? etc.

Sponsorship was a side note. I don't think product placement detracted from the film. My original takeaway was that the storyline was disjointed.
The other "epic Grand Canyon" film that NRS sponsored 10 years ago seemed more cohesive.

Watching a a film about multiday rafting is about as interesting and exciting as watching one on cross country trucking.
And I was going to invite you over Friday night to watch Gods of Glisse VII and eat green bean casserole. Meh.


I figured with all the recent poop-slinging going on on the Buzz that some video review/discussion would be interesting.
Even at the expense of Nana, that Bedrock video actually provided some very good informative/educational discussion. The video at the top of this post missed it with the rescue footage. We didn't see the line-up, we didn't see the flip, we didn't really see both swimmers rescued, we didn't see the setup for the raft re-flip. We only sorta saw the aftermath. It wasn't all that valuable in the storyline of a 1hr movie.

Here a film my buddy put out several months ago. Its mainly kayaking but y'all might still enjoy.
Post that vid up in a new thread, let's review/discuss!
 
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