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Brave New River: An environmental tragedy with no villain

3 out of 4 stars

Title
Brave New River
Directed by
Nicolas Renaud
Genre
Documentary
Classification
PG
Country
Canada
Language
English/French/Cree
Year
2012

Nicolas Renaud's beautifully shot, somewhat overlong film examines what happened to the Rupert River, and the James Bay Cree communities around it, after Hydro-Québec diverted 70 per cent of the water to five hydroelectric stations in 2009. The familiar Faustian bargain – temporary construction jobs for vast permanent change to habitat – is sobering to consider, but this tragedy unfolds with no named villain. It's more about the cruel logic of an impersonal economic force that takes what it needs while implicating everyone.

May 2, 6:30 p.m., Lightbox; May 4, 3 p.m., Lightbox.

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