Slow to start & not my favorite production style, this doc is indicative of suburban sprawl in Anytown, USA. I look around as I traverse the country & see old farm lands turned to boring, low quality McMansion developments, just like the ones featured here. And every exit of every highway, the same retails establishments. "Little boxes, on the hillside..."
A scatter-brained activist screed if there ever was one. Don't get me wrong, the subject matter has merit but the way the movie presents itself - self-congratulatory, emotionally manipulative, with extensive celebrity interviews that bring nothing to the table but anecdotal childhood nostalgia - the movie fails on every single front when it comes to formulating a coherent, persuasive, well-documented argument.
An elegy to the earth by director Laura Dunn which confidently delivers a mature documentary bringing all the players in a dialogue revealing the tension that is America - accumulation and so called "development " at the expense of survival. This rich collage of film, motion graphics, archival footage, raw testimony, and analogies using biological metaphors is a prophecy that cannot be ignored. Water is life.
Dunn deploys visual cues to cleverly telegraph the misdirection employed by developers, their lawyers and lobbyists, and the state legislators with whom they're cozily nestled in an embrace of mutual coddlement in this affecting, absorbing account of the blatant sabotage of a grassroots environmental movement in Austin, TX. There are some very engaging talking heads here, and also Robert Redford, that handsome devil.