The Abbe Museum will host an exclusive program around the documentary Return of the River on Monday, September 26, 2016, from 6-8 pm. The writer, director, and co-producer of the film, Jessica Plumb, along with Wabanaki panelists, will discuss the importance of the film as it pertains to relatable issues currently happening in Maine.
"I am particularly thrilled to share the Elwha River’s remarkable story at the Abbe Museum, because of the Museum’s commitment to contemporary Native culture in Maine,” said Plumb. “Return of the River features an unlikely success story for environmental and cultural restoration. The film follows members of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, working with activists to attempt the impossible: to change the public opinion of a town and eventually the nation to bring two dams down."
Filmed over four years, Return of the River is a narrative with global ramifications, exploring the complex relationship between communities and the environment that sustains them. The Elwha River is the ancestral home of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, who witnessed firsthand the impact of two dams on the river and its legendary fish runs.
The film addresses environmental justice issues that resonate far beyond the Pacific Northwest. The Penobscot River, for example, has been home for the Penobscot Nation for generations. It is a vital part of their identity, a source of sustenance, and a place of connection and contention with outsiders since the first arrival of European explorers. Protection of the river, their ancestral home, continues to be of critical importance to the Penobscot Nation.
All Wabanaki peoples make their homes on and around rivers. The Passamaquoddy live along the St. Croix River watershed and the bays it feeds. The Maliseet, the People of the Beautiful River in their own language, live along the St. John. The Aroostook Band of Micmac live along the upper reaches of the Penobscot and St. John Rivers, while Mi’kmaq bands in Canada reach from the St. Lawrence the rivers of Nova Scotia and bays of Newfoundland.
"I grew up in Maine, and I wish that I’d had a chance to learn a complete history of my home state, now beautifully revealed at the Abbe Museum,” said Plumb. “As a filmmaker, I’ve been witness to an exceptional story in the Pacific Northwest, exploring environmental justice issues that resonate far beyond the region. It’s a special pleasure to return to Maine with this film, and to stand with Maine tribes working on river issues."
To learn more about the film, please visit www.elwhafilm.com. This program is free and open to the public and is sponsored and generously supported by the Quimby/St.Clair family. For more information, please contact the Abbe Museum at 207-288-3519 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Jessica Plumb
Producer and writer Jessica Plumb is a filmmaker focused on the relationship between people and the places they call home. She moved to the Olympic Peninsula a decade ago, after starting her career in Boston and Beijing. Jessica directs a video production company and has produced numerous educational and promotional videos for clients. She has worked on documentary and narrative films screened at festivals in the role of editor, and behind the camera, and have created award-winning short films best described as video poetry. Her video art films have been screened in galleries throughout the United States. Jessica holds a B.A. from Yale University and an interdisciplinary MFA from Goddard College. She also studied documentary film at 911 Media in Seattle and the New School University in New York. See www.plumbproductions.com for more.