(Please see the April 2017 Come Hell or High Water newsletter for the full post.)
Public officials in Come Hell or High Water: The Battle for Turkey Creek deny the reality of inconvenient truths – a cemetery is not a cemetery, a creek is not a creek, a community is not a community. After years of struggling to convince local government of its right to exist, the Turkey Creek community used history, science and the power of storytelling to draw the support of allies at the national level, including the Environmental Protection Agency, which stepped in to help ensure the protection of the watershed and, therefore, the community. Today, the future of the EPA is uncertain and its Environmental Justice program is on the chopping block. What will the future hold for places like Turkey Creek and Flint, where local systems have failed and communities are without recourse to protect their water and air from toxins and their rivers and forests from ruin?
When Come Hell or High Water was released in 2013, audiences were shocked by the actions of government officials in coastal Mississippi. Today, the overt racism of a mayor who called his constituents “dumb bastards” is, sadly, less shocking. But clearly we have a lot to learn from communities that have been on the frontlines of these battles, shouting into deaf ears for decades and refusing to stand down until justice is done.
Come Hell or High Water is being used in classrooms and communities across the country, and is now available on home video.
Please share your thoughts about the film and these issues by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or on the film’s Facebook page.
See the April 2017 Come Hell or High Water newsletter for resources that connect the film to news and current events.