Tales of the San Joaquin: A River Restored (2011)
The San Joaquin River has been called the hardest working river in America, and at the same time, the most abused. Once the birthplace of hundreds of thousands of salmon, the river had completely dry not just once, but in two separate sections of the original river channel. After a successful twenty-year lawsuit against the federal government by a coalition of fifteen environmental and fishing organizations, the San Joaquin River has been restored.
Revised and expanded. Based on the original film that helped save California's San Joaquin River (Tales of the San Joaquin: A River Journey). With new chapters and scenes of the restored river.
For sixty years, parts of the 350-mile San Joaquin River have been turned into a perpetual desert by water diversion for farming, thus destroying habitat for thousands of migrating salmon. Tales of the San Joaquin tells the story of the river and its restoration through oral histories of those who live and work along the length of the river.
After a successful twenty-year lawsuit against the federal government by a coalition of fifteen environmental and fishing organizations, the San Joaquin River has been reborn as shown in the film's conclusion. A glowing and inspiring portrait of the San Joaquin River from its source in the Sierra Nevada Mountains to its eventual merging with the Sacramento River and onward into San Francisco Bay. The film celebrates Mark Twain's classic observation that the " face of the river is an open book, with a new story to tell every day."
Running time: 58 minutes
Written and Directed by Christopher Beaver
Cinematography by Scott Andrews
Edited by John Nutt
Cover photograph courtesy The Fresno Bee