Created in six weeks during the summer, the 2023 Southern Exposure films celebrate special people and places in Alabama while exploring complex issues and solutions. In this collection, we’ll explore the Sipsey Wilderness through the eyes of a “city girl” and see why our special places need to be protected for all Alabamians. We’ll learn about real wastewater solutions being implemented in the Black Belt, bringing justice to areas that have long been overlooked and underserved for these basic needs. We will meet three Indigenous people who have felt the call to protect their land, and we will hold ADEM’s feet to the proverbial fire as we question why a landfill was left essentially unregulated for years, resulting in the Moody Landfill Fire that raged for months. Finally, we will see just how precious the mussel is to our ecosystem, while learning about a project that would culminate in the most ecologically significant river reconnection project in the history of the United States, right here in Alabama.
FREE PUBLIC SCREENINGS IN ALABAMA
November 9 at The Capri Theater with Friends of the Alabama River
November 13 at UM’s Humanities Hall Auditorium with Sustainability @ Montevallo
MOBILE / SPANISH FORT
December 5 at 5 Rivers Delta Center Tensaw Theatre with Sierra Club, Mobile Bay Group
ABOUT THE 2023 FILMS
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FL*SHING INJUSTICESherry Bradley and Perman Hardy met on an ordinary Friday afternoon. Amid national and international media recognition of the egregious sanitation and health challenges facing counties across the Black Belt, they helped create an extraordinary consortium of community members, academic institutions, nonprofits, and government agencies dedicated to finding practical solutions for wastewater issues throughout the Black Belt in Alabama.
The Black Belt Unincorporated Wastewater Project, UAB Sanitation Health and Equity program and other members of the Alabama Rural Water and Wastewater Management Consortium, are utilizing historic state and federal infrastructure funding to implement real solutions on the ground, transforming communities through education and bringing justice to areas that have long been overlooked and underserved for these basic needs.
MUSSEL MEMORYDams have completely altered the species makeup, flows, and habitat of many of our most important river systems. In Alabama, home to some of the greatest biodiversity in the nation, Claiborne and Miller’s Ferry Locks and Dams have prevented migratory fish, like the sturgeon and Alabama Shad, from accessing their historic runs from the Gulf of Mexico up the Alabama River to their spawning grounds in the Cahaba River since they were built in the 1970s. These barriers have also left endangered and threatened mussels unable to reproduce and in peril of dying out. MUSSEL MEMORY explores the significance of reconnecting river systems and protecting Alabama's freshwater mussels, our natural water filtration system. Join scientists, conservationists, engineers and anglers as they fight to restore fish passage along the Alabama and Cahaba Rivers.
A project of this magnitude would culminate in the most ecologically significant river reconnection project in the history of the United States, right here in Alabama.
THEY NEVER LEFT: Indigenous Return and Reclamation in the Southeast
TRASHEDLandfills are an out-of-sight, out-of-mind part of everyday life in America, but in Alabama, they have long been a case for noxious odors, air and water pollution, and a lax regulatory environment that leaves communities vulnerable to environmental and health hazards. In the aftermath of a 2022 landfill fire near Birmingham that raged for months, suffocating multiple counties in smoke and odor, nearby residents demanded answers. They questioned how this was allowed to happen, why this company was not held accountable for years of violations, and what could be done to demand more from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management. This film holds ADEM’s feet to the fire, as non-profit organizations like Cahaba Riverkeeper, Gasp and Friends of Pinchgut Creek lead the charge to protect the water and air for nearby residents.
WHEREVER YOU GO, THERE YOU AREDirector Lily Ahree Siegel goes on a playfully sardonic escapade as she ventures beyond city limits – and air conditioning – into the Sipsey Wilderness in Northwest Alabama. It is her home state, after all; a land she once passed, but never knew. Will meeting others who are in tune with the spell this area cast help reconcile that Wilderness is for her too?
LULLABY FOR SIPSEYIn this micro-short film, enjoy as a captivating poem unfolds, gently celebrating the profound beauty found in the intricate details of the Sipsey Wilderness.
BRING SOUTHERN EXPOSURE FILMS TO YOUR COMMUNITY
Contact Kelly Marshall at [email protected] to learn how you can host a screening of the Southern Exposure films for your organization, university or school group, colleagues, church, or others who may be interested.