The Longest Straw
- Official Website
- Adventure, Environment, Nature, Personal Doc, and Cultural History
In the documentary "The Longest Straw", Samantha Bode (director) spends 65 days backpacking the 338 mile path of the controversial Los Angeles Aqueducts during one of the worst droughts in California history. As she walks, she speaks with those who live along the aqueducts to gain a deeper understanding of how water importation affects the ecologies, economies, and societies where the water is drawn from.
With Samantha's inquisitive perspective as a window into this contentious topic, we learn much about the experience of diverse groups such as the Paiute-Shoshone people, cattle ranchers, ecologists, and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. By working together, humanity can ensure the future of reliable freshwater for all.
- Show treatment
The Longest Straw draws a connection between the water that supports a city and that water's source. Samantha Bode (director) moved to Los Angeles and immediately fell in love with the abundant sunshine, the warm air, and the exotic plants of Southern California. But, she noticed within the city of Los Angeles the plants were very much like her native North East Pennsylvania. Green grass and tall trees grew everywhere, but there was no obvious source of water and it rarely ever rained. Where did all the water come from?
To learn more about the original source of Los Angeles’ water, Samantha embarks on a journey up the Los Angeles Aqueducts and the Mono Extension, the original source of Los Angeles’ imported water. During one of the worst droughts in California history, Samantha laces up her boots and sets off at the Los Angeles Aqueducts Cascades in Sylmar, CA. The audience follows her north and east for 65 days as she struggles through the rugged terrain of the Mojave and Great Basin deserts and loses herself in the shadow of the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains. She speaks with historians, community leaders and local residents, as well as employees of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), the operators of the city's aqueduct. Through Samantha’s inquisitive nature, the audience gains a deeper understanding of the economic, ecological, and societal impacts of water importation and deportation on communities, as well as the future of Los Angeles’ water.
The Los Angeles aqueducts can be viewed as a microcosm for ecological and resource struggle around the world. Too often in the world of instant gratification humans mistake temporary abundance for never-ending supply. The Longest Straw heightens awareness that the resources that civilization uses to thrive and survive are often shared by various communities; human, animal
- Running time
- 84 minutes
- Samantha Bode ... Director, Co-Producer, Editor
- Prod. Co.
- Rainbow Escalator
- United States
- Years of Production
- 2013 - 2017
- Los Angeles, Owens Valley, Mono Lake
- Release year
- 2017 New Urbanism Film Festival
- 2017 Best Healthy Cities Film
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