Heartland Film Society’s August Double Feature

Co-Sponsored by Dakota Rural Action’s Black Hills Chapter


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The Black Hills Chapter of Dakota Rural Action is co-sponsoring the Heartland Film Society’s August Double Feature on Wednesday, August 28 at 6:30 pm at the Dahl Arts Center, Rapid City. The two documentary films about uranium and are by South Dakotans Debra White Plume and Talli Nauman. Following the screenings, there will be a panel discussion with the filmmakers. Cost is $5 at the door.


The first featured film is “Crying Earth Rise Up” by Debra White Plume, 2013, 55 minutes. It is a documentary film and community engagement project exploring contaminated water and the impact of uranium mining on the people of the Great Plains. The border of Nebraska and South Dakota is home to the High Plains/Oglala aquifer – North America’s largest underground fresh water source. Within this region is nestled the town of Crawford, Nebraska, site of the Crow Butte uranium mine. Here questions have arisen over recently-discovered contaminated water and the expansion of the uranium mine. While mine operators insist that the practice is safe and the energy clean, some residents and geologists claim that mining has contaminated the groundwater with radon and toxic heavy metals. With the mine owners seeking permission to expand operations, community members begin to consider mining’s impact on their water supply and the fate of their small town. The film intimately chronicles the parallel stories of multi-generational ranchers, families, and concerned citizens as they debate the future of uranium mining.


The second feature is “Black Waters, Uranium Mining in the Black Hills” by Talli Nauman, 1981, 30 minutes. This film is a rare glimpse into the uranium-mining activities in the Southern Black Hills in the late 1970’s that documents the efforts of local citizens to have the mining stopped. It focuses on the efforts of Marvin Kammerer, whose family farm in Pennington County has been in his family since 1880. Through his concern about the dangers of uranium mining, he developed friendships with local community organizers, the Black Hills Alliance. Together they organized the 1979 “Walk for Survival” and the 1980 “International Survival Conference.”


The Black Hills Chapter is a community-based affiliate of Dakota Rural Action members. The Black Hills Chapter organizes around local food, community, renewable energy, natural resources, sustainable agriculture and land preservation issues.


The Heartland Film Society brings indie films and documentaries monthly to Rapid City.