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The documentary DamNation, playing at the Water Docs Film Festival, explores second thoughts about once-glorified hydroelectric dams.

<137>Damnation Collection<137><137><252><137>

Perhaps the source of our desire to stare at movie screens comes from our brain's hard-wired attraction to moving water.

Water scientist Wallace Nichols refers to our neurological connection to water, evolved over millenniums, as our "blue mind," a sense of well-being that affects our aesthetic senses in everything from urban planning to Super Bowl ads. That means the Water Docs Festival is a natural draw, a universal subject and opportunity for dramatic cinematography, though not a tranquil message.

The theme of the nine features, two episodes of the Canadian eco adventure television series The Water Brothers, and several dozen shorts and related activities is that we live midst troubled waters: DamNation explores second thoughts about once-glorified hydroelectric dams; Divide in Concord, set in the cradle of the American Revolution and home of environmental movement granddaddy Walden author Henry David Thoreau, focuses on a campaign to rid the community of plastic water bottles. Delta Dawn is about the 2,330-kilometre Colorado River, which, after flowing for six million years, came to a dry halt almost two decades ago before a brief 2014 rebirth. As they say in the movies, The End … Or is it?

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March 20-28, at Art Gallery of Ontario, Jackman Hall. For details about the festival and ticket information, go to ecologos.ca

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