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Films focus on environmental issues in the Black Hills

August 20, 2013

Films focus on environmental issues in the Black Hills
The following edited press release comes from the Black Hills Clean Water Alliance, which has the goal to prevent uranium and rare earth element mining in the Black Hills region of South Dakota.

If you are in the Rapid City area, consider checking out these films.

Heartland Film Society's August Double Feature
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 - 6:30 pm
Dahl Arts Center, $5 at the door
Crying Earth Rise Up by Debra White Plume, 2013, 55 minutes

A documentary film project exploring contaminated water and the impact of uranium mining on the people of the Great Plains.

Crying Earth Rise Up is a documentary film and community engagement project addressing the impact modern uranium extraction has on the land, our water and our communities. The border of Nebraska and South Dakota is home to the High Plains/Oglala aquifer - North America's largest underground fresh water source. Within this region is nestled the town of Crawford, NE, site of the Crow Butte uranium mine.

Here questions have arisen over recently discovered contaminated water and the expansion of the uranium mine. While mine operators insist that the practice is safe and the energy clean, some residents and geologists claim that mining has contaminated the groundwater with radon and toxic heavy metals. With the mine owners seeking permission to expand operations, community members begin to consider mining's impact on their water supply and the fate of their small town. The film intimately chronicles the parallel stories of multi-generational ranchers, families, and concerned citizens as they debate the future of uranium mining.

Black Waters, Uranium Mining in the Black Hills by Talli Nauman, 1981, 30 minutes

This rare glimpse into the uranium-mining activities in the Southern Black Hills in the late 1970s documents the efforts of local citizens to have the mining stopped. It focuses on the efforts of Marvin Kammerer, whose family farm in Pennington County has been in his family since 1880. Through his concern about the dangers of uranium mining, he developed friendships with local community organizers, the Black Hills Alliance. Together they organized the 1979 "Walk for Survival" and the 1980 International Survival Conference.

There will be will be a panel discussion with Debra White Plume, the film makers of Crying Earth Rise Up, and Talli Nauman, following the screenings.

This event is co-sponsored by the Black Hills Chapter of Dakota Rural Action.

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