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Directed by Jeff Martin

Portland 2015 90 mins.

A three-term State Senator, Jason Atkinson took a sabbatical from politics in 2012 to produce this film about the decades-old water war centered on the river he grew up on. At the heart of the story are four dams along the Klamath River’s over-allocated basin—symbols of freedom and prosperity to some and symbols of the cause of poverty and downfall to others. The sometimes violently opposing views on how to manage this majestic resource have informed generations of conflict between farmers, who need the river’s water; Pacific Power & Light, which manages the dams; environment activists and experts; fisherman; members of the native tribes, who’ve lived and worked along the Klamath River for centuries; and a myriad of federal, state, and local politicians looking for solution. “The film isn’t about fish or water rights, or even a forty-year water war, it’s about the harm people do to each other, and by extension, the damage people have done to one of this country’s greatest wild rivers.”—Jason Atkinson.



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.