fbpx Skip to main content

; be undammed

director's statement;

Jennifer Peedom


“After the phenomenal response to Mountain, we spent some time contemplating what would come next in our planned trilogy of orchestral concert films that explore the impact of landscape on the human heart. We briefly considered the broader theme of water, but quickly realised that rivers were a more powerful idea because of their specificity. The arteries of the planet are also the arteries of humanity.

We seem to have lost sight of their imprtance to our existence.

Humans love rivers. The number of films, books, and poems with “river” in their titles are impossible to count. And yet, the state of rivers around the world indicates that we seem to have lost sight of their importance to our existence.

Whereas the first film, Mountain, was a story about those who seek risk and challenge in mountains, we saw in River the potential to tell a more universal story. After all, the essential need for fresh water is one thing common to all people. As the W.H Auden poem goes “Thousands have lived without love, not one without water”.

River takes a birds’-eye view of humanity’s relationship with our most precious resource through time. It is a story about the limits of human control, and how our short-sighted attempts to control nature have backfired. It is about the fragmentation of rivers and the long-term impact of this on the living world.

Inspired by the work of our brilliant writer and collaborator Robert Macfarlane, we believe that encounters with nature can permanently shift – for the better – the way we think about the environment and how our decisions impact the environment. We have made River to provide such an encounter.

Through our collaboration with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the extraordinary score takes us on a journey from Bach, to Jonny Greenwood and Radiohead, featuring original composition by Richard Tognetti and Indigenous musician William Barton. Thanks to the work of some of the greatest nature cinematographers in the world, we have created a musical and cinematic experience that warrants being seen on the biggest of screens.

Ultimately, we hope that River prompts the audience to contemplate what it means to think like a river – to dream downstream in time to the longer-term consequences of our actions in the present – to contemplate what it means to be good ancestors.”

Jennifer Peedom, writer/director
Joseph Nizeti, co-writer/co-director

Lees alle director's statements

Lees alle interviews