‘Land and Water Revisited’ to livestream for premier


land and water revisited 1961 to 2019 Sometimes you have to look back to move ahead

Poster for documentary film “Land and Water Revisited”

Image: Kirk French, Penn State

“Land and Water Revisited,” a look back at a 1962 movie on the ecological impact of people in the Teotihuacan Valley outside of Mexico City, will live stream at 7 p.m. on July 24 on YouTube Live from the State Theatre. The film will be introduced by the producers and followed by a livestreamed, 45-minute question-and-answer session with collaborators and families from the original film.

“Land and Water” was an ecological study of the Teotihuacan Valley of Mexico created by William T. Sanders, deceased Evan Pugh Professor of Anthropology at Penn State. “Land and Water Revisited,” created by Kirk French, associate teaching professor of anthropology, looks back at the original film with an eye to environmental and cultural changes that occurred during the ensuing 58 years.

“It really is a rare thing to have a documentary film of a small community from the early 1960s,” said French. “This provided our team with an opportunity to document the problems caused by unregulated urban growth while simultaneously collaborating with the people of the Teotihuacan Valley to record their stories of change and adaptation.”

In the process of looking at the landscape, French discovered a population in the valley that had never seen the original film, so he had the film translated and shown locally. The viewings uncovered descendants of those filmed and in some cases adults who were small children in the original.

“Land and Water Revisited” was scheduled to premiere in April during the Society of American Archaeology meeting, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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