The Failure of the Ark: Disney's Lion King without Animals
January 7, 2014
Satirical Perspective on Noah's Gargantuan Task
December 4, 2013
Character, Ethics, and Watching Films
January 9, 2014
America's greatest deluge, the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927
January 7, 2014
Documentary filmmaker, Bill Morrison, releases his gorgoues new production, "The Great Flood" in two days at the IFC center in New York. The documentary uses ethereal, broken and water-damaged footage from the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927. The end suggests that the vibrancy of 1930s African American jazz scene in Northern citiies like Chicago and Detroit owe to the forced migration of over a million people, especially African Americans.
As a response, the Flood Control Act of 1928 began a period of intense flood prevention projects by the US Army Corps of Engineers.
I don't mean to get off on a tangent before I even begin writing about this documentary, but one of the provisions of the Flood Act sticks out to me: "no liability of any kind would attach to or rest upon the United States for any damage from or by floods or flood waters at any place." This is an interesting exception, considering the Act represented a massive implementation of then-current flood control theory, even repealling all other inconsistent laws. On the one hand, it makes sense to reject placing blame for 'acts of God.' Weather events are unpredictable, and no amount of engineer corps' planning could prevent all catastrophes. On the other, when read through the lens of today's general disdain for federal regulations, insufficient investment in infrastructure, and the deteriorating conditions of the American built environment, this clause looks like the villian's escape route.
Certainly, FEMA was created to address post-Katrina devestation, and plays a role in enforcing regulations on flood prevention (not initiating new projects, as this fema.gov fact sheet indicates). But is this enough? Are we doing enough?
Other countries are planning for the rise of oceans due to global warming. Are we?!?
[A nice write up about the documentary by Marlow Stern here.]