AMERICAN RIVER (2021) - documentary film score
Premiere: October 2021, Montclair Film Festival
Duration: ca. 1 hour 30 min
About the film:
American River is a documentary film that follows ecologist and writer Mary Bruno and guide Carl Alderson on a 4-day, 80 mile adventure down New Jersey's Passaic River, from its pristine source in a wildlife refuge to its toxic mouth in Newark Bay. The river’s amazing history, geology and ecology are revealed as the kayakers navigate challenges, travel through urban landscapes and head towards the industrial disaster that has poisoned the Passaic for the past 60 years.
Along the way, the filmmakers engage residents, historians and advocates in candid conversations that bring insight, urgency and a sense of wonder to the story. How did the Passaic become one of the most contaminated rivers in America? Can it be saved? And what does the future hold for our precious natural resources? The Passaic is an archetype for thousands of rivers across America facing similar reckonings. Under the direction of seasoned filmmaker Scott Morris, the entire journey was captured from the water, land and air in stunning 4K cinematography by an experienced 15-person crew. American River features an original score, high-end graphics and archival images.
"Ben... captured and reflected what was going on so perfectly: the spirited march forward, the sadness of the demise of much of the river, and the gentleness, the bucolic lyricism, the hope... all inspired!" — Blythe Danner
“As the pair paddle the river’s twisting 80-mile length—accompanied by Ben Morris’s lovely, almost subliminal jazz piano—their progress is captured by cameras at every imaginable angle…” — Bill Newcott